Image of sheep

ASI Updates Nontraditional Lamb Study

There is an ongoing sentiment in the American sheep industry that the animal inventory is greater than that captured by federal and state lamb slaughter data. The belief is these “missing lambs” are being diverted to nontraditional or ethnic marketing channels and therefore are not being captured in the post-lamb crop inventory and slaughter data.

In 2010, the American Sheep Industry Association prepared the Nontraditional Lamb Market in the United States: Characteristics and Marketing Strategies. It was a broad look at what was termed the nontraditional lamb market. The 2010 study found that about 1 million head of lambs were missing each year, nearly one-half of federally inspected lamb slaughter. This was calculated by taking the difference between the higher American lamb crop (less some death losses) and federally inspected sheep and lamb slaughter data.

In 2020 – 10 years later – the American sheep industry has experienced dynamic changes that affect the nontraditional calculation. For example, the number of lambs slaughtered by state and custom-exempt slaughter facilities nearly doubled from 2010 to 2019. Two models were developed to estimate the number of lambs channeled into the nontraditional market.

The first model – similar to the 2010 model – constraining slaughter to year of birth, found that the number of lambs channeled to the nontraditional lamb market was reduced sharply as changing market dynamics were incorporated into the model. During 2010 to 2019, the average nontraditional estimate per year was 96,686 head.

The second model accommodating for different birth and slaughter years produced very similar estimates to the model that constrained slaughter to the year of lamb birth. It also concluded that the number or percentage of nontraditional or “disappearing lambs,” based on data currently available, is significantly lower than estimates using the methodology described in the 2010 study.

This research indicates that lambs that originally “fell through the cracks” or were “missing” were being increasingly slaughtered in federal or state inspected facilities. The growth of Halal slaughter facilities, the growth of smaller plants and the average lower live weight at slaughter of lambs in non-federally inspected slaughter suggests that the industry might be developing into two distinct commercial markets: commercial lambs slaughtered by the largest lamb packers with a live weight at slaughter of more than 140 lbs. and lightweight lambs averaging 100 lbs., slaughtered primarily by state, and increasingly by federally inspected, facilities.

For more on the 2020 update to the study, read the November and December issues of the Sheep Industry News.

Click Here for the complete study.


WS Names Wehner as Western Region Director

Keith Wehner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been named Director for the Wildlife Services Western Region, headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo. He will also serve as a member of the management team for the WS program, which provides federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.

“Wehner’s collaborative nature and professional experiences will suit him well for the western region director position,” said WS Deputy Administrator Janet Bucknall. “He has played a pivotal role in advancing WS priorities related to livestock protection, airport wildlife hazard management and protection of agricultural resources from wildlife damage. He is a diligent and effective advocate for WS needs and priorities, and those of our stakeholders.”

Wehner brings valuable accomplishments and skills to his new position. He has noteworthy experience building cooperative field programs for the protection of agriculture, natural resources and property and to safeguard human health and safety. His work has included aerial programs, rabies management, statewide beaver and feral swine management programs, livestock protection, airport protection work, and threatened and endangered species conservation, among a variety of other technical areas.

Since 2018, Wehner has served as a Western Region Assistant Director. He began his career with WS in 2000 as a wildlife specialist and then as biologist in the Tennessee/Kentucky WS Program. From 2005 to 2010, Wehner served WS’ National Rabies Management Program as the rabies field coordinator facilitating the distribution of millions of oral rabies vaccine baits from Maine to Florida. He served the WS program in Tennessee/Kentucky as the assistant state director during 2010 to 2015, where he built an aviation program to deliver aerial wildlife damage management to the entire eastern region. Wehner became state director of the WS program in North Carolina for three years.

The Western Region of WS includes significant operations for livestock protection, airport wildlife hazard protection, invasive species management and endangered species protection. Wehner will oversee a workforce of more than 1,000 federal and cooperative employees conducting WS work in 19 states and Guam.



Faribault Opens Chicago Retail Store

Faribault Woolen Mill Co. – established in 1865 and maker of handcrafted blankets, decorative throws, apparel and accessories – opened its first-ever Chicago store in the Shops at North Bridge on Nov. 1.

The Faribault Woolen Mill is located in Faribault, Minn., and is one of the longest standing woolen mills in the country, where fifth-generation craftspeople take raw wool through a 22-step process to make blankets, throws, scarves and accessories.

“Our Michigan Avenue store allows us to introduce our premium products to the capital city of the Midwest,” said Paul Grangaard, Chairman & CEO of Faribault Woolen Mill Co. “Chicagoland shoppers are now able to experience the quality of our products in person. We look forward to debuting our entire offering including Chicago-specific merchandise like the iconic city flag blanket and the top-selling city map throw.”

The launch will be supported with a PR and marketing campaign involving partnerships with local restaurants to support outdoor dining this winter. Faribault Woolen Mill Co. is excited to provide the Chicago restaurant community support and solutions as they pivot toward the colder fall and winter months.

In addition to the Chicago store opening, the company plans to expand its retail footprint in other American cities in 2021.

Source: The Ritz Herald


USDA Offers Free Webinar on Livestock Risk Management

The Extension Risk Management Education Program and U.S. Department of Agriculture are hosting a webinar on Nov. 12 for agricultural producers and professionals focused on livestock risk management. The webinar is free to attend and will provide information on livestock markets, price risk and risk management options available through USDA.

“We strongly encourage farmers and ranchers to attend this webinar,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “The information that will be presented here will be invaluable to livestock producers who have an interest in the various risk management tools available to them through USDA.”

“I brought my experience as a rancher with me when I came to USDA, and I know firsthand the challenges that America’s livestock producers face,” USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said. “This livestock risk management webinar is just one example of our efforts to offer timely resources to cattle producers and others in the U.S. fed beef supply chain so they can make informed business decisions. USDA remains dedicated to addressing the concerns and strengthening the interests of livestock producers through forward-thinking actions that balance every segment of the nation’s livestock industry with the direction of today’s marketplace.”

The webinar is scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m. eastern on Thursday, Nov. 12.

Click Here to register for the webinar.

Source: USDA


Australian Market Rises in Volatile Week

The Australian wool market had another volatile week, again experiencing significant upward and downward movements within the series. On the opening day, strong widespread competition helped push prices higher across all Merino types and descriptions.

The individual Micron Price Guides across the country added between 89 and 133 cents for the day. On the back of these solid increases, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose by 85 cents, which equated to a 7.5 percent rise. The increased price levels reached on the first day could not be maintained through the second.

Buyer sentiment noticeably softened and, as a result, prices dropped. By the end of the second day, the MPGs in all three centers had lost between 30 and 79 cents. The EMI fell by 35 cents for the day. Despite the second-day losses, the Merino fleece market still recorded overall solid rises for the week. This was reflected in the EMI, which added 50 cents for the series to close the week at 1,188 Australian cents.

The current volatility in the market is highlighted by the movement in the EMI during the previous 10 selling days. In this period, the EMI has moved a total of 466 cents for an average movement of nearly 47 cents per auction day.

The Merino skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece. Large price increases of between 80 and 140 cents on the first selling day, followed by losses of between 10 and 50 cents on the second. The oddments were the only sector to record overall losses for the series. The three Merino Carding Indicators dropped by an average of 19 cents.

Source: AWEX


ALB Offers The Lamb Challenge Holiday Edition

With the success of its inaugural The Lamb Challenge social media campaign, the American Lamb Board announced a Holiday Edition.

ALB crafted the campaign to spark product purchases, give consumers a chance to experiment with lamb cuts and increase their confidence in cooking with American lamb for the holiday season.

“As more meals are being prepared at home, consumers are seeking variety and are more willing to try new recipes. Many consumers are picking up lamb at the grocery store and preparing it at-home for the first time,” said Gwen Kitzan, ALB chairman from Newell, S.D.

The Lamb Challenge-Holiday Edition provides a tremendous opportunity to increase lamb sales during the holiday season, which is a time when consumers are even more interested in preparing new recipes that will impress family and friends while creating memories around food.

Throughout this social media campaign, ALB is pushing out recipes and inspiration through a variety of channels. From Thanksgiving replacements to easy cocktail party appetizers to cozy cold weather comfort foods, American lamb will be showcased as a great holiday choice.

The Lamb Challenge-Holiday Edition runs through Dec. 31. To enter, consumers follow @fanoflamb on either Instagram or Facebook, “like” the designated contest posts, and comment with an American lamb recipe they plan to enjoy this holiday season with their loved ones. One winner will be selected every two weeks and will receive four of ALB’s favorite cookbooks and two racks of American lamb.

Source: ALB



Skip to content