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Wool Press Grant Application Now Available

The last two years, the American Wool Council was pleased to support producers and shearers with partial funding for new wool presses. The council will again be offering a grant program of $5,000 to two shearers, warehouses or individuals to assist with the purchase or build of a wool press in 2021.

The applicant will cover the bulk of the costs associated with the press purchase, but the American Sheep Industry Association and the AWC seek to assist as much as possible. Grant applications are due by Dec. 1.

As domestic and international freight costs are a significant expense to the American wool industry, the ASI Wool Council developed the Wool Press Grant to incentivize the purchase and production of American wool presses as well as to minimize wool freight costs. This project aims to encourage the use of presses that can be maintained and repaired in the United States, produce bales that are a standard size and emphasize the importance of proper wool bale weights to producers, shearers, warehouseman, pools and co-ops.

While assisting shearers and individuals directly, the program supports American sheep producers by allowing them to generate better returns on their wool clip. Producers will also benefit as the new presses will replace older presses that are prone to delay-causing breakdowns.

Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report – including photos or videos – and documentation that the baler meets all program requirements. Requirements include: the baler must be made in the United States, it must produce an average bale weight of between 400 and 500 pounds, produce a uniform bale size of 32 inches by 52 inches, and come equipped with safety features.

Click Here for more information and an application.


Comments Due Dec. 4 on Lamb Promotion Changes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is soliciting comments on a proposed amendment to the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order. Comments must be filed by Dec. 4.

These amendments would require market agencies (e.g. commission merchant, auction market, livestock market) in the business of receiving lambs to collect and remit on behalf of the producer, feeder or seedstock producer, the “live-weight” assessment on ovine animals sold and the “price-per-head” assessment owed by the first handler when lambs are sold through these channels. Market agencies would remit the full assessment to the American Lamb Board when ovine animals are sold. Refund provisions are proposed when animals are resold through an agency that have already had a remittance collected. This proposed rule would also make technical amendments to the order, correcting references to assessment rates that were inadvertently not updated during the previous amendment to the order.

The American Sheep Industry Association plans to file comments based on the input of volunteer leaders of the organization with a projection that collection could improve hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is a Dec. 4 deadline for comments that ASI plans to meet, according to ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. Volunteer input may be sent to

Click Here for the Federal Register listing.


ALB’s Promotional Partnership Offers Flexibility

For fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, the American Lamb Board has combined its two industry funding/support programs – the Local Lamb Promotional Funds Program and the Supplier Cooperative Funds Program.

The new program – the Promotional Partnership Program – is designed to create more flexibility for industry partners. Applications can be submitted year-round, so there is no longer a deadline. This allows the industry to apply as opportunities arise.

There are four categories of funding/support available:

  1. Cash sponsorships for events or educational conferences. This category is primarily meant for industry organizations who have existing, successful events or conferences that they host regularly with existing sponsorship packages available.
  2. Donation requests for promotional materials that are sold on, such as spice tins, re-usable grocery bags, hats, aprons and socks, up to $100 value. Materials need to be used for non-industry events.
  3. Donation requests for lamb product to sample at local events or conferences (cannot be industry related). Requests cannot exceed $1,000 and if the partner is providing the lamb, an invoice is required which reflects reasonable wholesale pricing.
  4. Branded promotional partnerships. This category is designed for lamb suppliers and direct marketers to help offset the cost of branded marketing and promotional activities. These activities could include – but are not limited to – participation at events or conferences, development of point-of-sale materials and/or packaging, website design, digital marketing and in-store sampling. This category requires the partner to invest at least 50 percent of the total cost of the project and provide documentation.

All applicants are required to acknowledge ALB support and provide a short final written report detailing the results. ALB staff is happy to provide consulting/guidance to industry members who are interested in tapping into its expertise, such as event execution, social media campaigns and website development.

To request an application, contact

Source: ALB


Wildlife Services Posts FY2019 Damage Management Data

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services posted this week its annual Program Data Reports for fiscal year 2019. The reports are available on the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service webpage, representing the 24th year that WS has shared this information about its wildlife damage management activities.

APHIS Wildlife Services’ activities seek to reduce or eliminate more than an estimated $232 million in livestock loss due to predation and $150 million in bird damage to crops caused by native and invasive wildlife annually. Comprehensive estimates of all types of wildlife damage are difficult to gauge, but each year wildlife strikes cause $625 million in loss to American civil aviation while also posing a potential loss of life.

APHIS responds to requests for assistance from individuals, companies and other government agencies when wildlife causes or threatens damage to human health/safety, agriculture, natural resources and property.

In FY19, APHIS encountered more than 31 million animals while responding to calls for assistance and dispersed 29.4 million wildlife from urban, rural and other settings where they were causing damage. APHIS dispersed almost 93 percent of the animals encountered. Not all conflicts can be resolved with nonlethal methods alone. Of all wildlife encountered, WS lethally removed 7 percent, or 2.2 million, in targeted areas to reduce damage. This included 62,000 coyotes, the most often removed native mammal. Coyotes reportedly kill more than 300,000 head of livestock annually and injure even more.

Where lethal control is used, APHIS works to make full use of the resource, which included the donation of 138 tons of goose, deer/elk, and other meat – more than 1 million servings of protein – for people in need.

In FY 2019, WS used $79 million in appropriated funds to help manage wildlife damage in every state and territory and to support special programs, such as managing feral swine damage and rabies in raccoons and other wildlife. APHIS also received funding from businesses, organizations, individuals and other government agencies that allows the program to maximize its scope and effectiveness. Last year, this “cooperative” funding totaled $93 million (54 percent) of WS’ budget for field-based operational wildlife damage management.

Click Here to see the reports.



Researchers Investigating Shrub Willow as Forage

Researchers at Cornell AgriTech and SUNY Cobleskill are investigating shrub willow as a feasible forage crop for sheep and goats in the Northeastern United States and would like sheep producers in the area to assist their research by taking a short survey.

Shrub willow is a fast-growing, woody perennial produced as a carbon neutral, bio-fuel crop. Shrub willow can provide ecosystem services such as streambank stabilization, nutrient retention in riparian buffers, and early spring pollinator forage.

Preliminary research efforts have shown that shrub willow may be a viable forage for livestock animals. This survey is intended to garner information relative to sheep and goat producers, their livestock enterprises, and their attitudes toward adopting new feedstuffs for small ruminants.

Click Here to take the survey.


Australian Market Rebounds for Positive Week

After falling for the first time in a month last week, the Australian wool market bounced back this series, with positive movements felt across all sectors of the market. The national quantity reduced by 1,354 bales for a total of 29,668 bales. The total offering compared to the previous season continues to fall. This year there have been 8,030 fewer bales put through the auction system – a reduction of 2.2 percent.

The largest rises were felt in the finer microns. The individual Micron Price Guides for 19.0 micron and finer gained between 20 and 55 cents nationally. Wools coarser than 19.5 micron still enjoyed solid rises – in this range the MPGs rose by 19 to 35 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator gained 26 cents for the series, breaking back through the 1,000-cent mark and closing the week at 1,022 Australian cents. This was a 2.6 percent rise.

The EMI has now risen for four out of the last five selling series, gaining a total of 164 cents during this period. Sellers were keen to accept the increased prices on offer. The national passed-in rate was only 5.1 percent – 12.7 percent lower than the previous series.

The skirting market again followed the lead of the Merino fleece, recording solid increases across all microns and descriptions, generally between 30 and 50 cents as 18.0 micron and finer were most affected. All crossbred MPGs posted rises for the series, of between 15 and 30 cents. The 30-cent increase in the 30.0-micron MPG in the south was the largest movement of the series (7.5 percent).

Next week’s national offering increases slightly to 30,468 bales. Sydney and Melbourne will be in operation both days, with Sydney a designated superfine sale. Fremantle only requires one day of selling (Wednesday).

Source: AWEX


Livestock Conservancy Offers Socking Up for Winter Challenge

Support the Livestock Conservancy’s Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative while knitting socks from Oct. 16-26.

Make a pair of socks using wool from a rare breed of sheep on the Conservation Priority List. You can use wool that is already in your stash, so if you are a current SE2SE artist who spun up roving as an official SE2SE project, you can use that yarn for your socks. If you don’t have any rare breed yarn, you can buy it from SE2SE  fiber providers in the Breeder and Products Directory.

You can use whatever pattern you choose. There will also be free patterns for beginners available in the Socking Up for Winter Challenge Facebook group. This challenge-specific Facebook group will feature daily Facebook Lives with fiber artist and author Deb Robson on Oct. 19-23. She will cover all the sock-making basics, including needles, yarn weight and gauges, fabric structures (plain, rib, lace, colorwork), heels and toes. Questions are encouraged.

The Livestock Conservancy will also have other special surprises throughout the challenge. After you sign up, you’ll receive an invitation to be a participant in the Socking Up for Winter Challenge Facebook group.

Click Here to register.

Source: Livestock Conservancy


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