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Reverse Trade Missions Spur Wool Sales

The American Sheep Industry Association has hosted two reverse trade missions in the past month, resulting in the sale of more than 400,000 lbs. of grease wool from several states – including a variety of wools ranging from fine to coarse. Buyers from China were in the United States this week, while a buyer from Italy visited a couple of weeks ago as part of the program to expand sales of American wool.

“These trade missions play a vital role in promoting American wool, educating buyers and facilitating introductions to the U.S. exporters, warehouses and growers,” said ASI Director of Wool Marketing Rita Samuelson. “Most importantly, they result in the purchase of American wool during challenging conditions.”

ASI partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service to fund this program and develop market access for American wool worldwide. This collaboration helps create multiple competitive markets, ensuring broader reach and increased opportunities for American wool in the global marketplace.

Through this program, ASI identifies potential buyers, builds relationships and brings interested buyers to the United States to learn about the variety of wools produced within the country. With three reverse trade missions already completed, additional trips are a possibility later this summer.


Small Offering Leads to Big Improvement in Market

The Australian wool market recorded an overall increase for the second consecutive selling series this week. Fremantle had a non-sale week in this series, and the national offering dropped sharply as a result.

There were originally 28,010 bales on offer, but after 4 percent was withdrawn prior to sale, there were just 26,897 bales remaining available to the trade. This was easily the smallest sale of the 2023-24 selling season and the smallest sale since September 2020. This small offering attracted strong buyer interest from the outset.

Once again, the strongest demand was in higher-yielding wool, particularly lots possessing favorable additional measurement results. Due to the limited selection, all wool regardless of specifications generally sold at levels higher than in the previous series. By the end of the week in the Merino fleece, the individual Micron Price Guides had risen by between 1 and 37 cents.

The crossbred sector also had a solid week with all MPGs closing at higher levels. For the second week in a row, the 26-micron MPG in the South was the strongest performer. It added a further 26 cents to the 22 cents added last week, meaning a 48-cent two-week increase – a rise of 9.3 percent. The skirtings tracked a similar path to the fleece and the oddments also closed higher.

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 15 cents for the series, closing at 1,152 Australian cents. The EMI has now risen for four consecutive selling days and has not posted a negative result in five. The EMI has added 22 cents across this run for an improvement of 1.9 percent.

Fremantle returns to the selling program next week, bolstering the national offering. There are currently 33,814 bales expected to be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. Sales will be held on Wednesday and Thursday to accommodate a public holiday on Monday in the Eastern centers.

Click Here for the ASI Conversion Table – AWEX Prices to USD Per Pound.

Source: AWEX


Sheep GEMS Videos Available to Watch

A key aim of Sheep GEMS is to assist American sheep producers to enhance the sustainability of their flocks by improving lamb survival, ewe longevity, udder health and parasite resistance. A terrific way to gain a sense of progress toward that objective is to hear it from producers engaged in the project.

A pair of presentations are posted on the Sheep Genetics USA website about Sheep GEMS. One is a brief introduction to the project by Dr. Ron Lewis of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The other is a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Jake Thorne of Texas A&M AgriLife with four participating breeders who represent each of the breeds involved: Kathy Bielek (Katahdin), Todd Taylor (Polypay), Russell Kott (Rambouillet) and Jeremy Geske (Suffolk).

For an up-close look at Sheep GEMS, please enjoy these presentations, which are also available on the Sheep Genetics USA YouTube channel.

Source: Sheep GEMS


Pfluger, Barrasso Show Support for M-44

Rep. August Pfluger (Texas) and Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) expressed concern this week over non-statutory report language in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations package that prohibits the purchase or deployment of M-44 devices. The two penned a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stressing the importance of the devices for ranchers in their respective states.

“Over the last several years, increased predation across the nation has contributed to declining volumes of domestic livestock herds. In fact, in Texas alone, it is estimated that predation of sheep and goats results in approximately $25 million annually in revenue losses,” read the letter to Vilsack. “It is estimated that if Texas and Wyoming ranchers could better control predation, it could result in over $100 million in farm gate sales. In Wyoming alone, predator losses amounted to 47.3 percent of all sheep and lamb deaths. In Montana, coyotes killed over 1,500 livestock in Fiscal Year 2023 with many more going unreported as there is no coyote depredation compensation program. It is imperative that Congress and the Department of Agriculture work in harmony to ensure producers have access to the resources they need to address aggressive predators.

“While we work in Congress to ensure prohibitions are not enacted in future legislation, we urge the USDA to continue production and supply of M-44 devices for government trappers and licensed private applicators. The continued production of M-44 devices is well within the law and is important to ensure ranchers have access to this safe and effective predation tool.”

Click Here to read the full letter.

Source: Rep. Pfluger

American Sheep Industry Association President Brad Boner thanks the members that joined the letter to USDA, including Reps. Jake Ellzey, Jodey Arrington and Chip Roy of Texas and Dusty Johnon of South Dakota, as well as Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Ted Cruz of Texas and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.


Equity Seeking Livestock Representative

Equity Livestock has been offering online auction services through its Electronic Lamb Auction for more than 40 years. Equity is now looking to add independent livestock representatives to increase marketing opportunities for producers across the country.

These reps will offer seller representation, marketing expertise and assistance during load out of livestock. If you have experience marketing load lot units of sheep or goats and are interested in learning more about the position, please call 800-362-3989, ext. 132.

Source: Equity Livestock


Legislative Update from Washington, D.C.

The American Sheep Industry Association’s lobbying firm – Cornerstone Government Affairs – offered an update this week on legislative issues in our nation’s capital.

Senate Ag Holds Hearing on Young Farmers

On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade held a hearing titled, Pathways to Farming: Helping the Next Generation of Farmers.

Committee members discussed how Title I and Title XI programs support young and beginning farmers but fail to sufficiently address the challenges they face. Also discussed were the roles the Farm Service Agency and the Farm Credit System play in helping young and beginning farmers. Questions tended to focus on affordability of crop insurance, access to credit, and rising land and input costs. Additional topics of discussion included the scarcity of rural child care, estate tax exemptions, foreign market access, base acre allocation, and other resources available to young and beginning farmers.

Overall, there was bipartisan support for strengthening resources for young and beginning farmers to ensure the future of the agriculture industry is secure and stable.

Click Here for a full recording of the hearing.


Lamb Jam Winners Announced

The American Lamb Board’s marquee event – Lamb Jam – is a highly anticipated, month-long dine-around celebration that showcases local chefs’ culinary ability with innovative lamb dishes. This year, the event expanded its reach to include seven key tour cities in growing markets around the United States.

Restaurants and chefs in each market spotlighted American lamb with delicious menu items, highlighting the family-operated farms and ranches raising sheep nationwide. Here are the 2024 Lamb Jam Finalists in each market:

  • Atlanta: Miller Union – Steven Satterfield, Lamb Meatballs
  • Austin: Interstellar – John Bates, BBQ Achiote Lamb Taco
  • Boston: The Banks – Edson Rojas, American Lamb Croquettes
  • Washington, D.C.: Zaytinya – Michael Costa, Seven Spice Roasted Lamb Leg
  • Denver: The Bindery – Linda Hampsten Fox, Lamb Birria Tacos
  • San Francisco: Causewells – Adam Rosenblum, Crispy Lamb Boudin Balls
  • Seattle: Eden Hill – Maximilian Petty, Lamb Leg Char Siu

In addition to these winners, diners were encouraged to vote for their favorite restaurants online, and the site received more than 3,000 consumer votes for the People’s Choice awards.

“It’s exciting to see so many consumers dining out and enjoying American lamb,” said ALB Chairman Jeff Ebert. “Lamb Jam 2024 was another huge success.”

Here’s the run-down of People’s Choice Winners by market:

  • Atlanta: Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina
  • Austin: Olamaie
  • Boston: Trade
  • Washington, D.C.: Sababa
  • Denver: Coperta
  • San Francisco: Abaca
  • Seattle: Revel

Stay tuned for more details on the Lamb Jam Finale to be held at the Platform by James Beard Foundation this fall.

Source: ALB

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