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LMIC Offers Sheep and Lamb Market Update

Drought continues to plague much of the Western United States and conditions in the Southern plains are worsening. Deteriorating range and pasture conditions are forcing producers to place more lambs on feed, which are at levels that have not been seen since 2018.

Since the start of the year, monthly lambs on feed have been running about 40,000 to 68,000 head above year ago levels. Weekly yearling lamb slaughter is averaging about 31,000 head or about 2 percent below last year following the Easter holiday season. Elevated lambs on feed and lower slaughter levels have led to a counter-seasonal increase in yearling lamb dressed weights, which have averaged nearly 70 pounds since the first week of May or 11 percent above the same period in 2021. Higher dressed weights have partially offset the lower slaughter levels, but year-to-date weekly lamb production through mid-July is down 7 percent from a year earlier.

At the start of 2022, feeder lamb prices – three-market average: Colo., Texas and S.D. – reached historic levels with a peak of $376.25 per cwt. in mid-January. Since then, those high prices have steadily tracked lower with recent weeks falling below the prior year’s levels. About a year ago, slaughter lamb prices – national negotiated live – reached the historic high of $268.34 per cwt. Prices have moved lower since that point, with the last two weeks falling below $180 per cwt.

Current prices – when compared to the record highs set a year ago – have fallen about $90 per cwt. Compared to the five-year average of about $150, prices are still above typical levels. The first week of August last year saw the lamb cutout reach a record level of $639 per cwt. Last week, the lamb cutout value was $537 per cwt., which is nearly $100 lower and since the start of the year the cutout value has fallen about 11 percent or $70. The five-year average lamb cutout value halfway through the year is typically about $350 per cwt. Although the current value is lower than a year ago, it is still historically high.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center is expecting commercial sheep and lamb slaughter to decline about 6 percent this year. A forecast 2-percent increase in weights will partially offset the decline in slaughter numbers, leading to about a 4-percent decrease in lamb production.

Ample lambs on feed are expected to pressure feeder lamb prices for the second half of the year with a forecasted decrease of 12 to 25 percent. Slaughter lamb prices seasonally move lower during the second half of the year and prices are expected to be about 2 to 4 percent lower than 2021. The lamb cutout value continues to remain well above typical levels despite demand uncertainties and economic recession.

Source: LMIC


New Lamb Market Monthly Summary Released

The American Lamb Board announces the introduction of a new monthly lamb market summary to provide the industry with increased data and analysis.

ALB has engaged the American Sheep Industry Association to prepare the monthly Lamb Market Summary. The report includes:

  • Sheep and lamb slaughter;
  • Lamb imports;
  • Sheep and lamb prices;
  • Market forecast.

An economic overview of the consumer market is also included, which influences food choices in the United States.

The July summary says, “Consumer prices continued to rise in June with the Consumer Price Index posting a higher than expected 9.1 percent year-over-year increase driven by higher prices for gasoline, housing and food. The Food Index has steadily increased each month since January and has risen 10.4 percent over the past year. While prices for fuel have moderated some in recent weeks, prices are expected to remain at elevated levels which inevitably will increase the cost of food. Consumers appear to be managing food price inflation for now, but expectations for continued inflation and an impending economic slowdown are likely to challenge consumer demand.”

The Lamb Market Summary, Weekly USDA market reports, and year-in-review reports can be found at

Source: ALB


Research Update Podcast: Antibiotic Use Regulations

This month’s American Sheep Industry Association Research Update Podcast takes a look at the use of antibiotics and upcoming changes to domestic regulations with veterinarian Rosie Busch from the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Food and Drug Administration will implement a new guidance recommending that drug manufacturers label all antibiotics as prescription-only beginning in June of 2023.

“That means we won’t be able to see these medically important antibiotics over the counter at feed stores or even if we’re buying them online,” Busch said. “Things like Valley Vet and other online pharmacies, we’ll see them there, but they will require a prescription in order to be able to buy them.”

It’s also important to note that veterinarians can’t legally write a prescription for antibiotics unless they have a veterinarian-client patient relationship.

“There is a federal definition, and states can have their own definition, but it has to meet the federal requirements,” Busch said. “Some states decided to go above and beyond that. Basically, it means that the veterinarian is familiar with you and your operation and animals. Usually it requires a visit, and that’s where it can vary from state to state.”

In addition to listening to the podcast, look for more information on the upcoming changes in the September issue of ASI’s Sheep Industry News.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


EID Webinar Available On Demand

The second part of a two-part webinar discussing the use of electronic identification in the American sheep industry is titled Data Driven Decisions: Incorporating EID in Flock Management and is now archived and available for on demand viewing at the American Sheep Industry Association website.

The second webinar includes a presentation from Julie Finzel with the University of California Cooperative Extension, as well as a panel discussion featuring three sheep producers who use EID technology in their operations. The three panelists include Kristen Bieber of Montana, Ryan Mahoney of California and Elaine Palm of Michigan.

Both webinars are made possible with funding support from ASI and a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Click Here to access the EID webinars and all other ASI-sponsored webinars in recent years.


Australian Wool Market Takes Break

The Australian wool market is taking its annual mid-year, three-week recess. Sales will resume in Week 6, the week beginning Aug. 8.


Audit Looking for Producer Input

Colorado State University is asking sheep producers to participate in a survey as part of the National Lamb Quality Audit.

Producers can access this survey via a mobile device or laptop using the link below. The National Lamb Quality Audit will help identify concerns and opportunities that producers might have, as well as establish a baseline of producer’s definition of sustainability and what that term means to them.

Here is basically the outline for NLQA for 2022:

  1. Conduct successful portions of previous audits, such as live animal and carcass in-plant evaluations (n=5 plants).
  2. Visit with retail and foodservice establishments and interview individuals that service lamb consumers representing more than eight major cities.
  3. Baseline an additional quality attribute – sustainability – perception based through survey questions and well as identify producer concerns and opportunities in the industry.

Click Here to take the survey.

Source: Colorado State University


Small Ruminant Course Planned in Florida

The University of Florida will hold its first Small Ruminant Short Course on Sept. 16-17. The event is a collaboration among UF/IFAS Extension, the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, the UF/IFAS agronomy department, and the UF/IFAS department of animal sciences.

The first day of the program will be held at the Straughn Professional Development Center. The second day of the program will be held at the UF/IFAS Beef Teaching Unit South, and will culminate with the 2022 University of Florida Ram Test and Sale, which will start at 1 p.m.

Producers, extension specialists, researchers, students and allied industry professionals are welcome to attend this in-person, educational event. The program will include lectures on parasite control, herd health, marketing, management and more.

Susan Schoenian, sheep and goat specialist from the University of Maryland, will bring industry expertise as the featured speaker. Research updates will be provided by UF small ruminant faculty and staff.

Click Here for more information and to register.

Source: University of Florida


ND Offers No-Interest Loan for Starter Flocks

For the 14th year, North Dakota State University Extension and the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association are offering North Dakota youth an opportunity to become involved in the sheep industry and build their own flocks. Anyone interested in applying will need to act quickly, however, as the deadline for applications is Monday.

Youth chosen for the Starter Flock Discounted Loan Program will receive an interest-free loan to purchase 10 yearling Rambouillet ewes from the association. The association will buy the ewes from NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center.

“Sheep production offers opportunity to grow a business for youth, learn record keeping and manage finances,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU Extension sheep specialist. “We have more than 120 young producers that have learned about sheep in North Dakota with this program. A young sheep enthusiast can get a start by receiving 10 ewes with limited risk through a great loan program.”

Click Here for more information and an application form. Applications can be emailed to Luke Dukart at

Source: Tri-State Livestock News


Deadline to Enter ASI Photo Contest is Monday

The deadline for the annual ASI Photo Contest is almost here. All photos must be in the ASI Office – either by email or mail – by Monday at 5 p.m. mountain time. Email entries can be submitted to

Click Here for complete contest rules.


Cornerstone Provides Legislative Update

The American Sheep Industry Association’s lobbying firm – Cornerstone Government Affairs – offered an update this week on legislative issues in Washington, D.C.

Senate Releases FY 2023 Appropriations Bills

The U.S. Senate released its Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bills this week. The Agriculture Appropriations Bill provides $27.07 billion – a $2.3 billion increase from FY 2022. The report includes language in support of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station.

The report also provides $25.944 million for Wildlife Services Methods Development – a $2.6 million increase – and $121.06 million for Wildlife Damage Management – a $4.75 million increase. There is also a $2.54 million increase in the Equine, Cervid and Small Ruminant Health line that supports scrapie eradication.

  • U.S. Sheep Experiment Station – the committee recognizes that the USSES is a valuable asset for grazing lands and sheep industry genetic research, and the repository of more than five decades of sage grouse research and data. The station is not only valuable for the domestic livestock industry, but also the Western region’s wildlife interface. The committee provides funding for rangeland research and urges the Agricultural Research Service to continue engaging collaborators to ensure the station functions as an agricultural research facility while also evaluating opportunities through a domestic livestock-wildlife collaboration.

The Interior Bill provides $42.22 billion – a $4.22 billion increase from FY 2022. The report includes language about bighorn sheep, range management and grazing allotments.

  • Range Management – The bureau is directed – to the greatest extent practicable – to make vacant grazing allotments available to a holder of a grazing permit or lease when lands covered by the holder of the permit or lease are unusable because of drought or wildfire.
  • Grazing Allotments – The bureau must prioritize management of active allotments that are not meeting land health standards or do not have current assessments and reduce the backlog of active grazing permits that require analysis and new management decisions under the National Environmental Policy Act. These actions should be taken in concert with a renewed focus on habitat conservation and reducing land degradation.
  • Bighorn Sheep – The bureau will continue the quantitative, science-based analysis of the risk of disease transmission between domestic and bighorn sheep required in the explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114–113).

Agriculture Bill: Bill Text, Explanatory Statement and Bill Summary.

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill: Bill Text, Explanatory Statement, Bill Summary.

Rep. DeFazio Bill Banning M-44

The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss H.R. 4951 – Canyon’s Law – introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.). The bill would prohibit the use of M-44 devices on public lands. The committee invited Dr. Mark Mansfield, MD, to testify in support of the bill. Dr. Mansfield further explained that he was not informed that the M-44s were placed near his home.

Dr. Mansfield’s Testimony , H.R.4951 – Canyon’s Law, Committee Hearing

Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

This week, the Senate released the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 aimed to make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, increase domestic energy production and reduce carbon emissions. This new proposal for the FY 2022 Budget Reconciliation bill invests $300 billion in deficit reduction and $369 billion in energy security and climate change programs.

Legislative Text – Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Summaries – Inflation Reduction Act – One Page Summary, Tax Summary, Prescription Drugs Summary, Energy Security and Climate Change Investments Summary

Ag Labor Bill Passage Window Beginning to Close

Sens. Mike Crapo (Idaho) and Michael Bennet (Colo.) have been working for months on a way to move the House-passed Farm Workforce Modernization Act through the Senate, but as the calendar moves into the Congressional August recess and Mid-Term election season, the window for passage is beginning to close.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the U.S. House in March of 2021 by a vote of 247-174, which included 30 Republican votes for passage. The bill garnered support from more than 300 agricultural organizations and included provisions that would establish a Certified Agricultural Worker status and make needed changes to the H-2A visa process.

One of the biggest sticking points to Senate passage remains an American Farm Bureau Federation provision that would allow H-2A workers to sue U.S. employers. To pass the Senate, the bill would need to garner 60 votes in support of passage, but it is still unclear how the legislation will make it over this hurdle before time runs out on this Congressional year.

Source: Cornerstone Government Affairs

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