USDA Needs Lamb Sales Reports

This past spring, the American Sheep Industry Association asked wool producers to report their sales in an effort to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture develop an accurate picture of the market situation. And now, ASI is asking lamb producers to follow suit.

The loss of the Mountain States Rosen plant in Greeley, Colo., is affecting the lamb industry on several levels – one of which is the loss of negotiated, formula and comprehensive slaughter lamb prices reported due to confidentiality guidelines imposed by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. This has reduced the amount of market information and decreased market transparency available to sheep and lamb producers.

In an effort to provide producers with market information to facilitate open, transparent price discovery, ASI is asking producers, feeders and others involved in direct feeder lamb sales to report those sales to Chris Dias at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service at 970-353-9750.

Specifically, the association is looking for information on the following:

• Direct feeder lamb sales for the mountain area and western United States (Colo., Wyo., Mont., Neb., S.D., N.D., Utah, Nev., Idaho, Wash., Ore., Ariz. and Calif.).

“Just like it was with the wool, this price information is invaluable to the American sheep industry,” said ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. “I can’t stress enough how important it is that we come together as an industry to provide as much information as possible to the Agricultural Marketing Service. In the long term, we will all benefit from contributing to these price reports.”

Additional CFAP Payments to be Announced Next Week

A second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments is on the horizon according to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The secretary said Thursday while touring farm damage in Iowa that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release rules for the second round of CFAP payments next week, according to a story from Agri-Pulse. The payments are designed to offset losses from April 15 through the end of the year and will go to the same commodities that received aid in the first round of CFAP payments.

The American Sheep Industry Association met with USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey recently to address the sheep industry’s continuing need for support as it applies to both wool and lamb. ASI has continued to inform USDA of industry losses in anticipation of a second round of CFAP payments.

Deadline for CFAP Applications is Sept. 11

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the first round of assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is Sept. 11 – just a week away. This program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

“FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application,” said Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency administrator. “Now is the time to check out the resources on our website and contact the call center or your local office for your last-minute questions.”

More than 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including certain non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, specialty crops, eggs, aquaculture, and nursery crops and cut flowers. All eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program by the Sept. 11 deadline:

• Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap. This allows producers with secure USDA login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications, and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.

• Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed, and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.

• Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

Source: USDA/FSA

USDA Section 32 Purchase Targets Lamb Rack Roasts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is soliciting bids for 438,900 pounds of lamb rack roasts as part of a planned Section 32 purchase. Bids are due by 1 p.m. central time on Sept. 9 with delivery between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

The American Sheep Industry Association submitted a letter of support in July for adding lamb racks to the Federal Purchase Program Specification for lamb products. Previously, only lamb roasts, chops and shanks were included.

“In amending the FFPS to include frozen racks, all the major lamb commodity products domestically produced and processed will be included and eligible for purchases made by the USDA/AMS Commodity Procurement Program, particularly for Section 32 purchases,” wrote ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick in a letter to USDA/AMS during the summer. “The American sheep industry has benefited from Section 32 food purchases in the past when the industry has experienced an oversupply of lamb products due to changes in economic and market conditions. The current marketing environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a surplus of lamb, particularly frozen racks. This proposal to include frozen racks to the FPPS for lamb products will help to address the current surplus and losses experienced by the lamb industry.”

Daines, Gianforte Request H-2A Assistance

Following in the footsteps of the Idaho delegation, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte wrote to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf this week requesting assistance for sheep producers who employ H-2A herders from Peru.

“Peru has stopped all international travel to and from the country at least through September,” read a portion of the letter. “And eligible H-2A workers already in the United States will reach their three-year maximums. This means many are no longer eligible to work and has resulted in substantial harm to Montana’s sheep industry. The temporary rule extension issued on August 19, 2020, does not resolve this issue.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great damage to agricultural producers in Montana and across the country. The sheep industry is already facing extreme disruption following issues with meat processing. The H-2A nonimmigrant visa program would help farmers and ranchers have a reliable and secure legal workforce as they cope with these challenges and feed America. Please consider an extension to maximum length of stay requirements or other accommodations to assist these employers as they continue to navigate the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and international travel restrictions.”

Newell Ram Sale Set for Sept. 17-18

The Newell Ram Show & Sale will celebrate its 75th year on Sept. 17-18. Consignments from an eight-state region make up the lineup.

The Newell Ram Show and Sale began with 8 consignors and today has grown to more than 50 consignors. For the 2020 event, 66 stud rams, 50 ewes and 144 range rams have been consigned. Breeds consigned include Rambouillet, Targhee, Columbia, Corriedale, Suffolk, Hampshire and Dorset.

The sheep show will kick off on Sept. 17 with the ewes at 9 a.m., followed by the rams. The wool show will begin at 10 a.m. and cash prizes will also be offered to the winning fleeces. Sheep growers are encouraged to bring their fleeces for the wool show. Those interested can contact wool show coordinator Lisa Surber at 406-581-7772 or lmsurber@gmail.com.

The sheep sale will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, with the ewes selling first, followed by stud rams and range rams.

COVID-19 precautions will be put in place for the show and sale. If buyers are unable to attend in person, they do have the option of phoning in bids on sale day. Please contact the ram sale secretary at 605-456-2941

Click Here for more information.

Source: Newell Ram Sale

Let’s Grow Webinar: Heritage Breed Sheep

The next Let’s Grow Program-sponsored webinar is set for Tuesday, Sept. 8, and will look at The Conservation and Comeback of Heritage Breed Sheep.

Jeannette Beranger of The Livestock Conservancy will lead the presentation, which will also include a producer panel featuring Leslie Johnson, Brian Larson and Oogie McGuire. As always, Jay Parsons will serve as host of the webinar.

“In this webinar, we will explore the amazing diversity of heritage sheep breeds found in America and how many are making a remarkable comeback as interest grows in small scale shepherding and in natural fiber arts. We will learn about the decades long effort to bring rare sheep back from the brink of extinction and current efforts to develop new markets for their products. Join us in this discussion about the conservation work and then listen to experiences of several rare breed sheep farmers as they recount the journeys they have undertaken with their amazing sheep breeds.”

Click Here to register for the free webinar.

Australian Wool Market Slide Continues

The Australian wool market continued to decline this week. Fremantle returned to the roster after a one-week break in sales, pushing the national quantity up. There were 28,599 bales on offer nationally – 8,511 bales more than in the previous week. Compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, there have been 3,499 more bales put through the auction system – an increase of 1.6 percent.

Sales opened in the east and it was immediately apparent the market was experiencing further price reductions. The individual Micron Price Guides in the eastern centers lost between 34 and 85 cents for the day, with all microns suffering losses. The Fremantle region was still to realize the reductions from the previous series, so the losses in the west were greater – between 41 and 125 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 46 cents for the day – a 5 percent drop.

The second day, prices continued to fall but not at the same rate. The Eastern MPGs lost a further 9 to 43 cents. The EMI fell by another 25 cents, closing the series at 858 Australian cents – a weekly fall of 7.6 percent. The EMI is now at its lowest point since 2002. Due to a strengthening Australian dollar, when viewed in USD terms the losses were not as severe. The EMI fell by 37 USc to 668 USc – a 5.5 percent reduction.

The crossbred sector also recorded heavy losses this series. Twenty-six micron was the most affected with the Sydney and Melbourne MPGs falling by 119 to 154 cents. The 32.0 micron lost another 30 cents, pushing its record low (since AWEX records began in 1995) further down to 190 cents.

Next week the national offering reduces to 23,120 bales. Due to small quantities, Sydney and Fremantle only require one-day sales with Sydney selling Tuesday and Fremantle selling Wednesday. Melbourne will be in operation both days.

Source: AWEX

Challenge Yourself with Sheep & Goat Skill-A-Thon

Put your sheep and goat knowledge to the test. The Virtual Invitational Sheep & Goat Skill-A-Thon is open to everyone (including adults). The Skill-A-Thon will consist of four components: multiple choice questions, picture ID stations, judging and a situation response.

This is a free contest sponsored by the University of Georgia Extension. The registration deadline is midnight on Sept. 17. The Skill-A-Thon will be open from Sept. 21-26 and can be taken at any time during that timeframe.

Are EWE ready?

Click Here for more information.

Source: University of Georgia Extension

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