ASI’s Osguthorpe Elected PLC Secretary
The Public Lands Council held its annual meeting virtually this week, and on Thursday the membership approved the nomination of sheep producer Steve Osguthorpe of Park City, Utah, as the organization’s secretary.
Osguthorpe currently serves on the American Sheep Industry Association Executive Board representing Region VI and is chairman of ASI’s Resource Management Council and Public Lands Committee. He’s also been the ASI representative to the PLC board of directors for nearly four years. In those roles, he has been a tireless advocate of public lands ranching and ASI.
A public lands rancher himself, Osguthorpe understands the issues that surround running livestock on Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service lands, and welcomes the opportunity to lead the discussion in these areas.
“Working with PLC has been a good partnership for the sheep industry,” Osguthorpe said. “With half of the sheep in the United States running on public lands, there are a lot of important issues that we need to deal with. Working with PLC has been fun, but also a real learning experience for me, and I’m happy to represent the American sheep industry as a PLC officer.”
Price Reporting Extended by Continuing Resolution
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution funding bill earlier this week that would prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1., and most importantly for the American Sheep Industry extend Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting through Dec. 11.
Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting is set to expire on Sept. 30 and must be renewed every five years. The bill is still awaiting approval in the U.S. Senate and must then be signed into law by President Donald J. Trump. The bill also allows USDA to use the Commodity Credit Corporation to make payments to farmers with no interruptions.
Rocky Mtn. Sheep Optimistic About Lamb Prices
Lamb prices jumped 40 percent in the six weeks ended Sept. 15, catching the attention of Rocky Mountain Sheep Marketing Association General Manager Stan Boyd.
“This has been a really abnormal year,” the Eagle, Idaho-based Boyd said. “In my 44 years, I’ve never seen a year like this.”
Boyd said a 100-pound feeder lamb sold for $1.40 per pound in mid-September compared to $1 in the first week of August.
“All of a sudden, the industry has confidence and is optimistic about the future,” he said.
Upcoming openings of lamb-processing plants in Brush, Colo., and San Angelo, Texas, should ease processing backlogs and improve competition, Boyd said.
“We have seen an increase in demand for lamb meat, primarily in the restaurant trade,” said Boyd, who led the Idaho Wool Growers Association from 1978 to 2016. Retail demand, though not enough to make up for lost restaurant sales, has been strong.
He owns a southeast Boise restaurant and lounge that he said was closed for four weeks and then “semi-successful” during a two-week stint offering take-out food. “Now, being at 50 percent occupancy, we are paying the bills.”
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Source: The Observer
Livestock Groups Support Barrasso’s ESA Legislation
The American Sheep Industry Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Public Lands Council and dozens of state livestock associations came together this week in a letter of support for Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) and his legislation – S.4589, the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2020.
“Your bill represents a long-awaited step forward in restoring common sense to species conservation that will ultimately restore the effectiveness of the ESA,” read the letter. “As groups who represent hundreds of thousands of livestock producers and land managers across this country, we offer our support to your legislative effort.
“Collectively, we previously offered commentary on your discussion draft in 2018 and have remained supportive of the concepts contained in the bill you ultimately introduced. Each provision in this bill addresses a key failure of the ESA that compromises species recovery efforts. As producers whose primary livelihoods are based on healthy ecosystems that sustain our livestock and our communities, we support the intentions of the ESA, despite its failings at multiple levels over the last several decades.
“Natural resource management efforts, including species conservation and recovery, are most successful when all landowners and managers are engaged in complementary activities. Put simply, an ESA listing has historically been perceived as a punitive response to ‘failed’ pre-listing conservation efforts because many of these pre-listing conservation efforts have not been given credence under the act.
“S.4589 recognizes that ranchers are intimately engaged in proactive, voluntary conservation efforts that benefit species – both those imperiled and with thriving populations – far before any federal authority seeks to require additional regulatory protections. These voluntary conservation efforts are time- and labor-intensive activities that ranchers seek out for the benefit of the habitats they manage and should be recognized for the conservation value they add.
“Equally, federal authorities should be able to consider the full scope of on-the-ground conservation activities when evaluating potential protections under the act, so they are best able to consider all factors when directing resources to the most beneficial use. The ESA is too often punitive and unduly burdensome for America’s ranching community, so this provision is a key improvement of the most recent bill.”
NCTO Launches PPE Video Campaign
The National Council of Textile Organizations – representing the full spectrum of American textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products – launched a paid social media video campaign this week highlighting the extraordinary efforts the industry has taken to respond to the shortages of lifesaving personal protective equipment spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Sheep Industry Association is an NCTO member.
“NCTO is launching a social media and email campaign today to show members of Congress how this industry has significantly contributed to the nation’s PPE crisis, while demonstrating the importance of immediate policies and legislation, such as Buy American mandates, to establish a sustainable domestic supply chain for the future,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.
“Our campaign underscores the importance of ending our over reliance on China for PPE and calls on Congress to craft policies that support domestic procurement requirements and the onshoring of jobs,” Glas added. “It is high time we had a national strategic plan in place to spur investment in the industry and ensure our country has a permanent domestic PPE supply chain to confront the next pandemic our country faces.”
Click Here to view the video, textile worker profiles and Call to Action.
Australian Wool Market Continues Positive Run
The Australian wool market continued to see price gains this week – in fact, this was the sharpest jump in 48 weeks. Price increases were seen across all microns, mostly in excess of 100 AUD cents, at all selling centers. The clearance rate was also up at 97.3 percent – up from 94.1 percent last week, according to the WTIN Wool Market Report.
It was the third week of consecutive gains, however, the national quantity fell by 6,148 bales, to 23,620 bales. Only Sydney and Melbourne were in operation on the first selling day (Tuesday). Strong buyer demand pushed prices higher from the outset with the finer sector attracting the most buyer interest. By the end of the first day, the individual merino Micron Price Guides in the east had risen by 58 to 106 cents.
On the back of these rises, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator gained 59 cents – an increase of 6.3 percent. In both cents and percentage this was the largest daily rise in the EMI since September of last year. Prices continued to climb on the second day. The MPGs in the east added a further 29 to 101 cents.
In Fremantle – which did not sell on the first day – the rises in the MPGs were much higher at 94 to 132 cents. The EMI gained another 40 cents for the day. The EMI rose by 99 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,036 Australian cents. Again, this was the largest weekly lift in the EMI – in both cents and percentage terms – since September 2019.
The skirtings again followed a similar path to the fleece with general rises of between 80 and 140 cents. Eighteen micron and finer skirtings were the most affected. The crossbreds also increased, but not at the same rate as their Merino cousins. The MPGs for 26.0 to 30.0 added 17 to 45 cents for the series. The oddments too recorded solid gains. This was reflected in the Merino Carding Indicators, which rose by an average of 61 cents.
Next week’s national offering increases to 33,239 bales, with all three centers in operation both days.
Comments Needed on PRF Rainfall Index Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announced this week it is seeking public comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program by Nov. 5. RMA contracted for an independent evaluation of the PRF program to determine its effectiveness as a risk management tool for livestock producers.
“We want to be sure that the recommendations RMA implements are good for the industry and good for livestock producers,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “We are always looking for feedback and making adjustments to ensure that our insurance products protect producers and help them manage their risk, including lack of rainfall, and protect the integrity of the program.”
In addition to the PRF program, the recommendations could be applied to other Rainfall Index programs such as Apiculture and Annual Forage, therefore RMA recommends that all interested parties submit comments by Nov. 5. RMA will review all comments and determine what recommendations should be implemented for the 2022 crop year.
Details on the recommendations are published in a report available on the RMA website for public review and comment. Comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com or by mail to Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.
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