U.S. Baseline Lamb Cost of Production Model

The Livestock Marketing Information Center worked with the American Sheep Industry Association to provide baseline estimates regarding the on-farm/ranch costs of producing lambs. Best-estimate industry parameters were used to generate regionally representative budgets.

Lamb production occurs across the U.S. and in a variety of ecological zones. Each sheep operation is different, and this diversity is what provides U.S. consumers with the greatest amount of choice in the market place. Operational diversity is also reflected through differences in economic costs of production. Farm level production costs and risks have increased in the last decade for the livestock industry. The sheep industry spans several sectors, but the producer sector is the foundation and production economic aspects require careful documentation and estimation. The changes need to be described and evaluated and needs to include feedstuff costs, management practices, labor costs, predator losses, etc. A baseline analysis of the changing costs and risks associated with lamb production in the U.S. will help inform the industry from an educational, policy analysis, and applied research standpoint.

Many universities have budgets to assist producers, but they are not standardized, and most are updated irregularly. In this update (the second conducted), existing budgets and expertise were evaluated and adapted. As part of the lamb producer educational programs, all of the participants in this project have assisted with and reviewed development of the farm/ranch level budgets, in their respective regions.

The results of this project are useful in educational programs, policy analysis, and applied research for the U.S. lamb industry. Input and output data from this analysis will be easy to depict graphically and help with summarizing trends and provide supporting insight for future research in the sheep industry.

To read the full Scope of the Project, click here.

The Cost of Production Worksheet is available here.When opening the worksheet, it is recommended that you select the “Save as” option and place a copy of the document on your desktop.

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