USDA Announces Two New Programs to Assist the Sheep Industry

July 28, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today two new programs to assist the sheep industry with the production and marketing of their products in the United States.

Through the new Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program, approximately $1.5 million in grant funds are now available to assist the sheep industry. Additionally, AMS’ existing verification program for small-scale livestock producers will now include opportunities for the grass-fed sheep industry.  The Prairie Star (7/28/14)

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Sheep Mentoring Guidelines

Mentoring is an invaluable way to transfer knowledge from the established to the new in any industry. In recognition of this fact, the American Sheep Industry Association has established a mentor/intern network on a state-by-state basis across the nation in an effort to attract and support new producers.  As a part of this effort, I published a Mentoring Guidelines document to support new sheep producers coming into the industry and experienced producers trying to help them be successful.  These mentoring guidelines are designed to provide a resource for new and experienced producers alike, guiding them in their relationship and highlighting the impact that strong mentoring relationships can have on successful personal and professional development. I encourage you to make use of these guidelines as you build and maintain strong relationships within the sheep industry.

Link to full document:  Sheep Mentoring Guidelines

 

Canadian lamb markets growing

Lamb producers in Canada will begin selling finished lambs to the Canadian Lamb Producers Cooperative this spring. At the same time, the co-operative, which will have offices in Guelph and Saskatoon, is launching its marketing arm, the Canadian Lamb Company.

The goal is to build its brand to meet a growing demand for Canadian lamb in Canada and abroad.

Read more at Farm Credit Canada.

Webinar Apr 22, 2014: Managing Your Pastures Better: Management Intensive Grazing 101

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Managing Your Pastures Better: Management Intensive Grazing 101

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Presenter:
Dr. Woody Lane
Livestock Nutritionist & Forage Specialist
Lane Livestock Services
Roseburg, Oregon

Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Host: Dr. Jay Parsons, Colorado State University & Optimal Ag Consulting

Description:

Sheep are magnificent animals that evolved to eat grass. A sheep’s rumen allows it to thrive on high-fiber forage and effectively convert sunlight and atmospheric nitrogen (nitrogen “fixed” into forage protein by legumes like clovers and alfalfa) into valuable human products like meat and wool and milk. But how can shepherds use sheep to harvest this forage in a profitable and sustainable way?

By grazing. But good grazing is not just opening the gate and putting sheep into a pasture. Good grazing requires knowledge and good technique. In this Webinar we will discuss how to do this. We will review how forages grow and how to use sheep to manage your forage in a sustainable and efficient way. We will cover the principles of Management Intensive Grazing (MIG). This is not just rotating sheep through small paddocks. MIG is a way of understanding forage growth, relating the amount of pasture to animal requirements, allocating feed, and using sheep to manage forage efficiently and effectively. By properly managing our forages, we can reduce our feed costs, improve pastures, reduce weeds, reduce our break-even price, and increase the chances of turning a profit.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from the American Sheep Industry Association and the Rebuild the Sheep Inventory Committee.

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Animal Disease Traceability Update

A meeting of the Colorado Animal ID Advisory Group was held on December 13, 2013 in Arvada for the purpose of reviewing the USDA Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program final rule published on January 9, 2013.  It is important for sheep producers to realize that the ADT program applies only to interstate movement and that the requirement to move sheep and goats interstate remain the same as the current scrapie regulations for interstate movement.

While the impact of the ADT program on the way of doing business in the sheep industry will be negligible in the near future, producers will notice an increase in ADT program activity related to other livestock species, especially cattle over 18 months of age.  At present, the emphasis is on education not enforcement.  Producers may be interested to read about the latest updates on the ADT program at the traceability website http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability.  Of particular interest will be the latest documents which can be accessed by clicking the Materials link on the menu at the top of the page.

The following factsheets may be of particular interest to U.S. sheep and livestock producers.

Animal Disease Traceability: A Guide to Identifying Sheep and Goats for Interstate Movement

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/downloads/rule_movement_sheep.pdf

Summary of Traceability Requirements by Species

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/downloads/ADT_summary_species.pdf

Webinar: Dec 17, 2013 – Profitable Genetic Selection

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Profitable Genetic Selection: How the National Sheep Improvement Program Can Help the US Sheep and Goat Industry

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Presenter:
Dr. Reid Redden
Extension Sheep Specialist and NSIP Chairman
North Dakota State University

Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Host: Dr. Jay Parsons, Colorado State University & Optimal Ag

The National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) is a nonprofit organization created to develop genetic predictors for production traits relevant to the US sheep and goat industries. This technology generates estimate breeding values (EBVs) based on performance data that is submitted by participating flocks. This program develops EBVs for: 1) Growth Traits: birth, weaning (60 d), postweaning (120 d), and yearling (365 d) weights; 2) Reproductive Traits: number of lambs born and weaned; 3) Carcass Traits: loin muscle and backfat depth; 4) Wool Traits: fleece weight, fiber diameter, and staple length; 5) Parasite Resistance: weaning fecal egg count. In addition, indexes are created that rank the most important traits for the respective breed. EBVs are calculated by making comparisons of lambs among their flock mates; therefore, lambs that outperform their flock mates get positive values for the particular trait and genetically related traits.

Additionally, sire and dam EBVs increase for production of a lamb that is above or below flock average (progeny test). To better serve the entire industry, NSIP needs more seedstock producers to enroll, use the program to its full capacity, and work with other NSIP breeders to develop genetic connections within the breed. Additionally, it requires that commercial producers request that their seedstock providers provide this data and purchase sheep with EBVs that are consistent with the needs of the flock. In summary, NSIP can help the industry make more informed and reliable breeding decisions and lead to more productive and profitable sheep and goat industries.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from the American Sheep Industry Association and the Rebuild the Sheep Inventory Committee.

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LRP-Lamb Market Report 18 November 2013

The LRP-Lamb price index ended last week at $140.73 per cwt. This is up $5.44 from the index of $135.29 on November 11, 2013.

LRP-Lamb insurance price forecasts expiring November 18, 2013 were as follows:

Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value Actual % of Expected
8/19/2013 13-week $99.86 140.9%
7/1/2013 20-week $96.53 145.8%
5/20/2013 26-week $81.01 173.7%
2/18/2013 39-week $96.18 146.3%

The effective floor prices offered by LRP-Lamb coverage for policies expiring November 18, 2013 were as follows:

Effective Floor Price (Coverage Price – Producer Premium)
(Producer Premium per cwt.)
Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value 95% 90% 85% 80%
8/19/2013 13-week $99.86 $92.832 $89.106 $84.638 $79.823
(2.038) (0.764) (0.242) (0.067)
7/1/2013 20-week $96.53 88.677 85.443 81.449 76.997
(3.023) (1.437) (0.601) (0.223)
5/20/2013 26-week $81.01 74.264 71.474 68.165 N/A
(2.696) (1.436) (0.695) (N/A)
2/18/2013 39-week $96.18 86.898 83.809 80.158 76.070
(4.472) (2.751) (1.592) (0.870)

None of the LRP-Lamb insurance offerings expiring on November 18, 2013 offered protection above the actual ending price index of $140.73. After the fact, the best a person could have done was not to insure lambs for delivery on or about November 18, 2013. However, as always, one should consider the protection the insurance provides in terms of risk management.

LRP-Lamb Market Report 11 November 2013

The LRP-Lamb price index ended last week at $135.29 per cwt. This is down $0.47 from the index of $135.76 on November 4, 2013.

LRP-Lamb insurance price forecasts expiring November 11, 2013 were as follows:

Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value Actual % of Expected
8/12/2013 13-week $93.27 145.1%
6/24/2013 20-week $95.09 142.3%
5/13/2013 26-week $77.27 175.1%
2/11/2013 39-week $104.81 129.1%

The effective floor prices offered by LRP-Lamb coverage for policies expiring November 11, 2013 were as follows:

Effective Floor Price (Coverage Price – Producer Premium)
(Producer Premium per cwt.)
Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value 95% 90% 85% 80%
8/12/2013 13-week $93.27 $86.706 $83.227 $79.054 $74.557
(1.904) (0.713) (0.226) (0.063)
6/24/2013 20-week $95.09 87.361 84.165 80.238 75.850
(2.979) (1.415) (0.592) (0.220)
5/13/2013 26-week $77.27 70.838 68.170 65.016 61.526
(2.572) (1.370) (0.664) (0.294)
2/11/2013 39-week $104.81 94.696 91.332 87.354 82.902
(4.874) (2.998) (1.736) (0.948)

None of the LRP-Lamb insurance offerings expiring on November 11, 2013 offered protection above the actual ending price index of $135.29. After the fact, the best a person could have done was not to insure lambs for delivery on or about November 11, 2013. However, as always, one should consider the protection the insurance provides in terms of risk management.

LRP-Lamb Market Report 4 November 2013

The LRP-Lamb price index ended last week at $135.76 per cwt. This is up $13.56 from the index of $122.20 on September 30, 2013.

LRP-Lamb insurance price forecasts expiring November 4, 2013 were as follows:

Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value Actual % of Expected
8/5/2013 13-week $95.07 142.8%
6/17/2013 20-week $97.24 139.6%
5/4/2013 26-week $80.43 168.8%
2/4/2013 39-week $108.89 124.7%

The effective floor prices offered by LRP-Lamb coverage for policies expiring November 4, 2013 were as follows:

Effective Floor Price (Coverage Price – Producer Premium)
(Producer Premium per cwt.)
Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value 95% 90% 85% 80%
8/5/2013 13-week $95.07 $88.379 $84.833 $80.579 $75.996
(1.941) (0.727) (0.231) (0.064)
6/17/2013 20-week $97.24 89.334 86.072 82.044 77.566
(3.046) (1.448) (0.606) (0.224)
5/4/2013 26-week $80.43 73.733 70.963 67.679 64.034
(2.677) (1.427) (0.691) (0.306)
2/4/2013 39-week $108.89 98.387 94.885 90.757 86.125
(5.063) (3.115) (1.803) (0.985)

None of the LRP-Lamb insurance offerings expiring on November 4, 2013 offered protection above the actual ending price index of $135.76. After the fact, the best a person could have done was not to insure lambs for delivery on or about November 4, 2013. However, as always, one should consider the protection the insurance provides in terms of risk management.

LRP-Lamb Market Report 30 September 2013

The LRP-Lamb price index ended last week at $122.20 per cwt. This is up $0.71 from the index of $121.49 on September 23, 2013.

LRP-Lamb insurance price forecasts expiring September 30, 2013 were as follows:

Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value Actual % of Expected
7/1/2013 13-week $100.45 121.7%
5/13/2013 20-week $91.11 134.1%
4/1/2013 26-week $94.01 130.0%
12/31/2012 39-week $127.07 96.2%

The effective floor prices offered by LRP-Lamb coverage for policies expiring September 30, 2013 were as follows:

Effective Floor Price (Coverage Price – Producer Premium)
(Producer Premium per cwt.)
Date Offered Policy Expected Ending Value 95% 90% 85% 80%
7/1/2013 13-week $100.45 $93.379 $89.632 $85.136 $80.293
(2.051) (0.768) (0.244) (0.067)
5/13/2013 20-week $91.11 83.696 80.644 76.873 72.679
(2.854) (1.356) (0.567) (0.211)
4/1/2013 26-week $94.01 86.181 82.943 79.103 74.852
(3.129) (1.667) (0.807) (0.358)
12/31/2012 39-week $127.07 114.811 110.725 106.462 100.510
(5.909) (3.635) (1.548) (1.150)

None of the LRP-Lamb insurance offerings expiring on September 30, 2013 offered protection above the actual ending price index of $122.20. After the fact, the best a person could have done was not to insure lambs for delivery on or about September 30, 2013. However, as always, one should consider the protection the insurance provides in terms of risk management.