CFAP Webinars Planned for June
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced this week a schedule of webinars designed to assist farmers and ranchers in applying for direct support through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
Sheep producers will want to pay special attention to the webinar on June 16 at 3 p.m. eastern time, which is designed to cover non-specialty crops and livestock. Other webinars are scheduled for June 9 (specialty crop producers), June 11 (dairy and non-specialty crops) and June 18 (Farm Service Agency programs).
Producers are also reminded of the CFAP Call Center available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee.
Click Here for the CFAP Webinar information page.
Click Here for ASI’s COVID-19 information page.
ALB Relaunches Lamb Resource Center
The American Lamb Resource Center website – LambResourceCenter.com – has officially relaunched. This is an industry website that is a great place for sheep producers, feeders, direct marketers, educators and processors to start their search for information. It pulls together a variety of resources from American lamb organizations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and more.
The site is a service of the American Lamb Board – the lamb industry checkoff organization. With a totally new design, updated content and simplified navigation, ALB hopes users find this site even more useful. The homepage features current news and resources of particular interest. The most popular section is likely to be resources, which has access to everything from publications, funding opportunities from a variety of sources, the American Lamb Summit, pricing calculator (also known as the Direct Marketing Lamb Business Management Tool), to market reports courtesy of the American Sheep Industry Association.
The lamb board section explains what the mandatory checkoff program does, how it works and how to pay. Plus, users will find news for farm media and the industry, reports, board of directors’ information, and how to contact ALB. Promotion tools features items to order for events and local promotions, and ALB’s marketing toolkits for Hispanic and Muslim audiences. The login area includes promotional resources and other information for industry use only. An online form can be completed to apply for access.
Keep in mind that ALB also has an American lamb website for consumers – AmericanLamb.com – which houses recipes, cooking information and a special section that introduces consumers to the industry’s story from pasture to plate.
Texas A&M Plans Online Market Meeting for June 11
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo, Texas, will present its fourth online meeting on the impact of COVID-19 on sheep and goat markets on June 11.
The event will use the Zoom video meeting platform starting at 3 p.m. central time. Participants need to download Zoom to their computer or smart phone in advance of the meeting to pre-register. Once pre-registered, participants will be given the meeting link and have the option to join online or by phone. This event is free and open to the public. Sheep and goat producers are encouraged to participate.
“Since our first update of the COVID-19 impact on the lamb and goat market in April, the markets have continued to change,” said Reid Redden, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sheep and goat specialist. “Sheep and goat producers have a lot of questions regarding the government programs, which we’ll cover during the webinar. Our intent is to try and provide information to producers on what has occurred and why. We know many segments of the market are facing extremely dire situations, and this webinar is geared toward keeping producers informed.”
Expert speakers will include: Redden; Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo; David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension livestock and foods marketing economist, College Station, Texas; and guest speaker Erica Sanko, American Sheep Industry Association director of analytics and production programs, Sacramento, Calif.
Topics discussed will include the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability Act, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, wool marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments. Markets, cold storage, lamb production, retail food service demand, cut prices, cull ewes and lightweight slaughter will also be covered.
Click Here to pre-register for the session.
Vermont, Wisconsin Cancel Traditional Festivals
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to play havoc with annual sheep and wool festivals around the United States. With uncertainty still hovering across much of the country, organizers of festivals in Vermont and Wisconsin announced this week the cancellation of their fall events.
“We will not be holding a live festival on Oct. 3-4 as originally planned,” organizers in Vermont said. “However, we will be bringing you a festival. The planning committee is working out details and will be making announcements in coming weeks. We are trying to rework as many of the usual festival offerings as possible into virtual alternatives. The first thing we will do is add enhanced pages to our festival website so you can learn more about our vendors and the products they offer. You will be able to contact vendors directly to purchase their products.”
Organizers in Wisconsin made a similar announcement as they look at alternatives for their festival, which was originally set for Sept. 11-13.
“The Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Board met to discuss the feasibility of the Sheep and Wool Festival in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic,” wrote WSBC President Doug Wilson on the group’s Facebook page. “Given the responsible health safeguards and financial business impacts, it has been concluded there will not be a 2020 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival as we have known it in the past. However, the board and WSWF manager are examining alternative concepts to not totally eliminate this positive activity. These concepts will soon be reviewed, and announcements will be forthcoming as to each aspect of the festival events.
“Likewise, a decision will be communicated on the previously delayed annual meeting. This is obviously disappointing but given the situation it is the logical step for 2020. Hopefully we can develop doable concepts for pieces of the festival. We will communicate within the month of June. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.”
Small Offering Drives Demand for Australian Market
In welcome news to sellers and buyers, the Australian wool market rose for the second successive week. With only Melbourne and Sydney in operation, the national quantity fell to 15,375 bales. This was the lowest national quantity since AWEX records began (1995).
The wool market often acts with a mind of its own. This series, however, the market followed conventional economic theory. The reduced supply attracted stronger demand, and the result of increased demand was general price rises across the board. As Sydney did not sell on the last selling day of the previous series, this center enjoyed the largest rises. The individual Micron Price Guides generally rose by 2 to 30 cents. The only exceptions were the 16.5-, 18.0- and 21.0-micron MPGs in the South, which recorded very little change.
The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 13 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,183 Australian cents – this equated to a modest 1.1 percent increase. Worth noting – due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar – the price increases when viewed in USD terms were more significant. The EMI rose by 44 USc for the series, closing the week at 821 USc – a rise of 5.3 percent.
The limited offering of skirtings attracted strong demand, pushing prices higher – generally between 20 and 30 cents. The crossbreds also enjoyed rises this week. The MPGs for 26.0 to 28.0 rose by 12 to 41 cents. A limited offering of 32.0-micron wools were generally unchanged. The oddment market also continued to rise. Again, Sydney recorded the largest gains, catching up with the other centers. Gains in locks, stains and crutchings pushed the two carding indicators up by an average of 24 cents.
Quantities increase next week as Fremantle re-joins Sydney and Melbourne on the selling program. Currently, there are 24,140 bales available to the trade.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION