Editor’s Note: The American Sheep Industry Association national office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 5, in celebration of the Labor Day holiday.
Wool LDP Available to Producers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Assistance Loan and Loan Deficiency Payment programs could provide welcome assistance for wool producers.
Currently, the ungraded LDP program offers a 40-cent LDP (per pound grease). This has been the going rate for the past two years for ungraded wools, as graded wools have varied from week to week per grade. This week, there is a higher LDP payment – $1.22 per pound clean – for graded wools between 23.6 and 25.9 micron. There’s also a 9-cent (per pound clean) LDP available for wools between 20.6 and 22 micron.
Current rates are posted on the American Sheep Industry Association website each Tuesday afternoon. Producers with questions about the Wool LDP Program can contact their local Farm Service Agency office.
Click Here for more details and current rates.
ASI Budgets Approved
The American Sheep Industry Association Board of Directors unanimously approved the Wool Trust and Fund II budgets in online voting in recent weeks. The board also approved dues rates for the coming year.
Condé Nast Traveler Highlights Wool
This week, Condé Nast Traveler offered online readers a look at wool clothing they should add to their travel wardrobes.
“When you think of wool clothing, your mind probably goes to chunky socks, stiff slacks, or expensive cashmere that you’re afraid to ruin. But a recent push toward sustainable fashion has put wool under a new spotlight, with more brands using the fabric to create clothes that are both functional and fashionable, and wearable in all seasons.
“But what makes wool the perfect fabric for travel clothes? Some may say that wool is too thick and itchy to be comfortable, but wool comes in many forms. Merino wool – for instance – is an ultra-fine and super soft wool that’s lightweight and breathable, creating clothes that are great for adventure travel and city trips in both cold and warm climates. Wool is also odor-resistant – the absorbent fibers in the fabric wick away sweat and lock in odor – so even if you sweat through a wool shirt during a hike in the Adirondacks or a summer day in Paris, once it dries it will be odorless and ready to wear without washing, making it easier to pack light. Wool is also wrinkle-proof, so opting for a wool T-shirt or shift dress on your travels means that you’ll look fresh and polished, even if you forgot to pack a steamer.
“While adventure and performance clothing brands have been harnessing the power of wool for decades, recent fashion-forwards brands like Babaa and Nadaam are putting a stylish spin on the material, creating everything from shoes to dresses – and of course, sweaters – that are perfect for today’s travelers.”
Click Here to find out which eight pieces of clothing the magazine recommended for frequent travelers.
Source: Condé Nast Traveler
Australian Wool Market Suffers Small Loss
After two weeks of minimal price movements and an overall unchanged market, the Australian wool market recorded a fall this series. Despite the Western region resuming sales after a week’s break, the national offering fell, as well. There were a total of 35,538 bales on offer – 1,893 fewer than the previous week.
Although this smaller offering attracted strong demand, from the opening lot it was apparent that the prices on offer were below last week’s levels. The market continued to slowly fall as the week progressed. The largest drop in prices was seen in the South for Merino fleece types 19 micron and finer. This was reflected in the individual Micron Price Guides in the South, which for 19 and finer fell by between 40 and 76 cents. In the North – which was a designated Superfine sale – the losses were not as large, with some MPGs recording positive movements.
The movements in these MPGs combined with small overall losses in the skirting, oddment and crossbred sectors resulted in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropping by 12 cents for the series. The EMI closed the week at 1,330 Australian cents. Since the beginning of the new season (July 1) the EMI has not yet recorded an overall weekly positive movement.
The EMI opened the 2022-23 season at 1,430 cents, and during the six sales held so far in the new season the EMI has dropped by a total of 100 cents for a fall of nearly 7 percent. When compared to the corresponding sale of the previous series, the EMI is trading at a very similar level. The EMI is currently 2 cents lower – a reduction of only 0.2 percent.
Quantities for next week are expected to rise. Currently, there are expected to be 39,562 bales on offer in Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.
Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.
Natural Fiber Connect Conference is Next Week
Natural Fiber Connect is an online conference taking place on Sept. 7-9 for the alpaca, cashmere, mohair and wool industries.
As the effects of climate change and market fluctuations continue to grow, it is more important than ever before to understand the impact on growers and herders at the beginning of our supply chains. Their prosperity is vital for safeguarding the future of the sector and making real progress toward sustainability goals.
The virtual event will cover trends, challenges and innovations within the four industries and how they are impacting growers and herders around the world. In turn, we will look at how the growers and herders themselves are shaping the future of the sector.
The event will welcome more than 500 guests from around the world, including growers, processors, brokers, manufacturers, brands, NGOs and government stakeholders invested in the natural fibers sector. As the name of the conference suggests, the focus will be to connect all actors of the supply chain, exchange knowledge and insights and work together toward reaching sustainable development goals.
The three live days are filled with expert speakers, recorded talks and roundtable discussions aimed at tackling the common challenges of the alpaca, cashmere, mohair and wool industries. Attendees will benefit from plenty of networking opportunities including access to the virtual exhibition hall where they can connect with fiber supply chain companies, NGOs and government organizations invested in making the natural fiber industries more sustainable.
The event platform as well as the live talks will be available in English, Spanish, Mongolian and Chinese. There will be two sessions per day discussing the same topics with different speakers.
Click Here for more information.
American Lamb Connects Great Food with Sustainability
In a new partnership developed in 2022, the American Lamb Board and Secret Supper hosted consumers at farm-to-table dinner parties in key lamb metro markets of Boston, Seattle, Austin, and most recently, Denver.
Secret Supper was founded in 2015, with a desire to bring people together around great food and wine in stunning and unique locations. And what better way than a farm or ranch setting with a meal highlighted by American lamb.
“These are very purposeful events that allow American lamb producers to connect with consumers that fit our target audience,” says ALB Chairman Peter Camino. “We need to incorporate environmental stewardship messages into our current food-oriented outreach because of how sustainability is part of the consumer purchase equation.”
For the Denver metro market, the Secret Supper was held at a family farm outside of Boulder, Colo., with stunning views of the area’s iconic landmark, the Flatiron Mountains. The American lamb was raised by Sky Pilot Farm near Longmont, Colo., and prepared by Chef Biju Thomas, innovative self-taught chef, author of the FeedZone cookbooks, and cook to some of the best athletes in the world.
Consumers fortunate enough to attend this Secret Supper were treated to Chef Thomas’ American Lamb Shoulder Vindaloo, a curry dish inspired by his Indian heritage. Sky Pilot Farm owner Chloe Johnson attended the supper to engage in meaningful conversations about American lamb, the people who produce it and regenerative agriculture.
Texas A&M AgriLife Filling Two Positions
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo, Texas, has openings for two assistant professors. One position is in livestock predation and the other is for a rangeland ecologist in renewable energy.
Click Here for details on the livestock predation position.
Click Here for details on the rangeland ecologist position.
Source: Texas A&M AgriLife
USDA Grants Strengthen Meat Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced this week an additional $21.9 million of funding is being awarded to 111 grant projects through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program, bringing total funding to $54.6 million.
This year’s awards will fund projects in 37 states. The funding will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors throughout the United States. To further these efforts, AMS is also encouraging MPIRG awardees and eligible participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives to request assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program. Launched in March 2022, MPPTA connects participants to a nationwide network of resources and expertise.
“The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants will help meat and poultry processors make necessary facility improvements, expand their businesses, and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “These grants are one part of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives and will contribute to our efforts to transform our food system.”
“USDA continues to build capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry producers across the country,” added Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt.
Facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain.
MPIRG recipients and other eligible participants – especially small and underserved stakeholders – in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives are encouraged to take advantage of the broad technical assistance offered through MPPTA. AMS has cooperative agreements with six organizations to form the MPPTA network, which has already provided valuable assistance to more than 300 businesses and organizations across the United States and its territories since its launch earlier this year.
For more information about MPPTA and the organizations involved, and to initiate a request for assistance, visit AMS’ MPPTA webpage. To view the list of this year’s MPIRG awardees, visit the MPRIG award page. Additional information on MPIRG can be found on AMS’ MPIRG webpage.
USDA Announces Census of Agriculture Details
America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to be represented in the nation’s only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county and territory. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will mail the 2022 Census of Agriculture to millions of agriculture producers across the 50 states and Puerto Rico this fall.
The 2022 Census of Agriculture will be mailed in phases, starting with an invitation to respond online in November, followed by paper questionnaires in December. Farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 are included in the ag census.
“Census of Agriculture data are widely used by federal and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, and many others to inform decisions about policy and farm programs and services that aid producers and rural communities,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “By responding to the Census of Agriculture – by being represented in these important data – producers are literally helping to shape their futures.”
Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840 and now conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census of Agriculture tells the story and shows the value of U.S. agriculture. It highlights land use and ownership, producer characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, among other topics. Between ag census years, NASS considers revisions to the questionnaire to document changes and emerging trends in the industry. Changes to the 2022 questionnaire include new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep and updates to internet access questions.
To learn more about the Census of Agriculture, visit www.nass.usda.gov/agcensus or call 800-727-9540. On the website, producers and other data users can access frequently asked questions, past ag census data, partner tools to help spread the word about the upcoming ag census, special study information and more.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION