ASI, NLFA Support USDA Lamb Purchase

The American Sheep Industry Association, its state affiliates and the National Lamb Feeders Association called for prompt solicitation of bids on an American lamb purchase in a letter delivered today to U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Greg Ibach.

“In July 2019, the secretary issued an announcement for Trade Mitigation to purchase Lamb Products up to $17 million,” read the letter. “Since that time, as you are aware, the American sheep industry has been hit hard by the loss of foodservice sales and consumer demand. This crisis has resulted in losses at the farm level of at least $125 million and a total estimated economic impact to the American sheep industry of $353 million in 2020, at minimum.

“We believe that at this critical time the issuance of a purchase solicitation for $17 million for lamb products would be valuable as market lambs are backing up weekly in the lots and prices are decreasing weekly. We hope that solicitations can be made regularly for the proper mix of lamb products to accomplish the full $17 million authorized yet in 2020.”

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ASI SheepCast: SBA Grant Eligibility & Payment Limits

This week, the American Sheep Industry Association’s SheepCast takes a look at new options for sheep producers through Small Business Administration-backed lending, the letter the industry sent urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reconsider payment limits, the president’s order on meat processing, and finally movement on livestock transportation.

Click Here to listen to the SheepCast.

 

Meat Processing to Continue During Pandemic

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 national emergency.

“I thank President Trump for signing this executive order and recognizing the importance of keeping our food supply chain safe, secure and plentiful. Our nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain,” said Sec. Perdue. “Maintaining the health and safety of these heroic employees in order to ensure that these critical facilities can continue operating is paramount. I also want to thank the companies who are doing their best to keep their workforce safe as well as keeping our food supply sustained. USDA will continue to work with its partners across the federal government to ensure employee safety to maintain this essential industry.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor have put out guidance for plants to implement to help ensure employee safety to reopen plants or to continue to operate those still open.

Under the Executive Order and the authority of the Defense Production Act, USDA will work with meat processing to affirm they will operate in accordance with the CDC and OSHA guidance, and then work with state and local officials to ensure that these plants are allowed to operate to produce the meat protein that Americans need. USDA will continue to work with the CDC, OSHA, FDA, and state and local officials to ensure that facilities implementing this guidance to keep employees safe can continue operating.

Source: USDA

 

Suckow Named Director of National Wildlife Research Center

Jason Suckow has been selected as the next director of the Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo. He began serving in his new role earlier this week after serving as acting director of the center since January.

“His leadership skills and communication style suit him perfectly for the position,” Wildlife Services Deputy Administrator Janet Bucknall wrote in a recent letter announcing the appointment to WS employees. “I am confident that Jason will continue to lead the Center with the same commitment and effectiveness he has shown during the past 4 months and throughout his career. As Director, he will also continue to serve as a member of the WS Management Team at this important time as we implement our Strategic Plan goals related to harmonization of the WS operations and research functions.”

Suckow started his career as a seasonal trapper in his home state of Wisconsin in 1989 and worked his way through the ranks as a wildlife biologist and district supervisor. He served as WS state director in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin before taking on the role of western region director and becoming a member of the WS management team in 2014.

The American Sheep Industry Association congratulates Suckow on his permanent appointment to the role, and looks forward to working with him and others at Wildlife Services to protect American interests all across the United States.

Source: USDA/Wildlife Services

 

Slide Continues for Australian Wool Market

The Australian wool market continued to track downward this week, with losses felt across all Merino microns and descriptions. After 10.3 percent of the national offering was withdrawn prior to sale, the total number of bales available to the trade reduced to only 22,094 bales. The price drop resulted in a national passed-in rate of 25.7 percent – meaning only 17,018 bales were sold. The total dollar figure of wool sold this series was $21.92 million.

Main buyer focus continued to be on the better-style wools. These wools were in limited supply, however, as the offering was dominated by lower-yielding, lesser-style wools. The individual Merino Micron Price Guides fell by 39 to 89 cents, with the reductions felt across the board. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped by 47 cents, closing the week at 1,225 Australian cents. Worth noting, due to currency movements, the fall in the EMI in USD terms was not as severe. The EMI lost only 2 USc for the series.

The crossbreds also reduced this series, but not at the same rate as their Merino cousins. The crossbred MPGs dropped by 4 to 13 cents. The MPG for 32.0 micron fell to 271 cents – the lowest figure since AWEX records began (1997-98). The minimal reductions in the crossbred MPGs prevented the EMI from falling further than it did. Locks, stains and crutchings generally fell by 10 to 40 cents for the series, pushing the three Merino Carding Indicators down by an average of 24 cents.

Next week’s national offering increases to 26,328 bales. Due to the amount of wool on offer, Sydney and Fremantle only require one day of selling – Fremantle on Tuesday and Sydney on Wednesday. This move prevents Melbourne from selling in isolation as it is selling on both days.

Source: AWEX

 

New Zealand Wool Testing Lab Open Again

As of this week, the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority Laboratory is out of lockdown (Alert Level 3) and has commenced working through all American wool samples that have arrived in the past month. Alert Level 3 still requires people to stay at home where possible, but workplaces can return to operation where it can provide a safe environment.

“We are prioritizing all U.S. samples and will be trying valiantly to get them all completed within 48 hours,” emailed NZWTA Director Duane Knowles to Wool Trade and ASI. “Many more samples were delivered to us this morning (more than I was aware were coming), and so the backlog is a reasonable size. We will therefore be working overtime hours in these first few days to help get through this.”

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