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ASI Completes Secure Sheep & Wool Supply Plan

The American Sheep Industry Association has completed the development of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan for Business Continuity in a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. ASI worked with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop this plan.

The sheep industry is a diverse industry producing quality meat and wool products under a variety of management and environmental conditions. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan focuses on business continuity in the event of an FMD outbreak. FMD is the most highly contagious disease of livestock and affects domestic cloven-hoofed animals (cattle, swine, sheep and goats) and many wild animals (deer, bison, pronghorn antelope and feral swine). FMD is not a food safety or public health concern.

Having the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan in place prior to an FMD outbreak is critical for food security and animal health and well-being. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan will facilitate the safe movement of sheep and wool with no evidence of disease from farms in an FMD control area to harvest channels or to other farms. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan will enhance coordination and communication between all parties, speed up a successful FMD response, and support continuity of operations for sheep producers and associated industries.

“The industry is pleased to have completed this plan with the assistance of the Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health and the volunteers that served on the stakeholder group,” said ASI President Benny Cox of Texas. “ASI funded this project because it is important for our producers to have a plan to follow to ensure the economic viability of the American sheep and wool industry during an FMD outbreak.”

The poultry, beef, milk and pork industries have worked collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state animal health officials and academia to develop business continuity plans for their industries. The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan is consistent with USDA’s FMD response goals and other Secure Food Supply Plans to maintain business continuity for sheep and wool producers (whose animals are not infected with FMD) and processors and to provide a safe, continuous supply of lamb, mutton and wool for consumers.

Click Here for more information.


USDA Issues Lamb Solicitation as Producers Await Direct Payment Details

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now accepting bids for a lamb purchase pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Service Master Solicitation for use in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. Acceptances will be announced by May 29, and lamb deliveries are to be made between July 1 and Sept. 30.

The department is looking to purchase nearly 280,000 pounds of bone-in lamb chops and another 280,000 pounds of lamb shanks through the notice. This will account for a portion of the $17 million lamb purchase already announced by USDA.

The American Sheep Industry Association, its state affiliates and the National Lamb Feeders Association have called on USDA to move forward on the previously approved purchase as the industry is facing a $353 million economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue responded to those calls for support this week in writing that USDA is still working on details of direct support for actual losses to American sheep producers. “The program will also assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19,” he wrote.

ASI hopes to see details of direct support payments to producers next week. In other news, Perdue told Brownfield Ag News this week that USDA is working on raising limits of direct support payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“We’ve heard from many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle indicating they think those payment limits are too stringent,” he said in a story published today on Brownfield’s website. “We agreed with them and we’ve adjusted those payment limits – and we’ll see those when the rules come out.”

Click Here for a full list of COVID-19 Resources.


ASI Leads Coalition’s Support for Wildlife Services

The American Sheep Industry Association led a coalition of industries this week in expressing support for Wildlife Services and the role it plays in protecting the food supply chain and human health. More than 80 groups signed on to a letter of support that was sent to appropriations subcommittees in both the U.S. House and Senate.

“USDA/WS is funded by Congress through annual appropriations, which combined with matching dollars from cooperators allows them to accomplish this broad mission,” read the letter of support. “These cooperators are primarily state, county and municipal entities; but also include predator control districts and other private entities. Together, cooperators make up 50 percent of USDA/WS annual program funds.

“Our concern is that the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the budgets of these cooperators and that will have a detrimental effect on their ability to continue to support USDA/WS mission when we need them most to provide continuity. The airport wildlife hazard mitigation is fully funded by cooperators and the Federal Aviation Administration. This sector of the economy has been particularly hard hit. State, counties and municipalities are reeling from the loss of tax revenue at all levels coupled with the need to divert already limited resources to emergency response and aid for their residents. Livestock, aquaculture and crop producers are feeling the pinch of a market crash from upended supply chains, the closure of foodservice and disrupted international trade.

“During this pandemic, we have all worked to respond to the immediate needs of our respective industries and have greatly appreciated the support of Congress. Throughout this, we have continued to find unexpected and unanticipated challenges during what has been a previously unfathomable event of shutting down an entire nation and global economic leader to save lives.  We ask that you consider providing additional program funding to USDA/WS to help bridge the gap of the loss of cooperator funding for this vital program.”

Click Here to read the full letter.


SheepCast: EIDL, Secure Supply Plan and Trade

This week, the ASI SheepCast looks at the continued efforts for industry relief, reviews the first phase of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan, and previews the formal start of trade negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Bioworma Webinar Scheduled for May 13

A free Zoom webinar on BioWorma will be conducted on Wednesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. eastern time. Chris Lawlor from International Animal Health will give a presentation and answer questions during the session. Registration is free but required to attend.

The webinar is sponsored by the University of Maryland, Delaware State University, Virginia State University and Fort Valley State University, and will be recorded and posted to YouTube following the live session.

Click Here to register for the webinar.


Midwest Stud Ram Sale Cancelled for 2020

Heartland Livestock Services and the Midwest Stud Ram Sale Executive Committee announced this week that the 2020 Midwest Stud Ram Sale has been cancelled.

“We considered the advice of local experts and authorities when making this tough decision,” read the press release announcing the cancellation. “Collectively, we reviewed the State of Missouri’s business re-opening guidelines and consulted with the Missouri State Fairgrounds and the administrator of Pettis County Public Health to seek guidance related to large public gatherings, such as the Midwest Stud Ram Sale. Unfortunately, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 are continuing to increase in Pettis County and the surrounding counties, and local restrictions will remain tighter than those for other areas of Missouri for the foreseeable future.

“As promised, we want to ensure you that all entry, vendor and sponsorship fees will be fully refunded. Fees collected will be automatically refunded if you paid via credit card or returned by mail if you paid with a check. You do not need to take any action to ensure your refund.

Also, keep in mind the Midwest Stud Ram Sale is changing dates in 2021. New dates will fall on the second week following Memorial Day – June 14-19.


Australian Wool Market Hits Lowest Point Since 2015

The Australian wool market continued to deteriorate this week, as prices fell across the country. Prior to the sale, 11.8 percent of the offering was withdrawn, bringing the national quantity down to 25,338 bales.

Despite the reduced offering, buyer demand waned as the sale progressed and this resulted in continual price reductions. Good-style wools and those with good additional measurement results were still in high demand, and these wools were the least affected by the falling market. The large numbers of lesser-style wools and those with poor additional measurement results, did not receive the same support, however, pushing prices down.

By the end of the series, the individual Micron Price Guides across the country fell by 21 to 87 cents. Due to these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 55 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,170 Australian cents. The EMI is now at its lowest point since 2015. The EMI, when viewed in USD terms, dropped 48 cents, falling to 753 USc. This is the lowest the EMI has been in USD terms in nearly 10 years.

Next week’s national offering increases slightly to 25,660 bales. Due to limited quantities Sydney and Fremantle both will have one-day sales with Sydney selling on Tuesday and Fremantle selling on Wednesday.

Source: AWEX

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