Ewe lamb applications due
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) posted the Final Rule for the 2004 Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Payment Program (ELRRPP) in the Dec. 23 Federal Register. The rule announced that the application period for the program will end January 13, 2005. The program was designed to encourage the replacement and retention of the ewe-lamb breeding stock in the U.S. ELRRPP provides direct payments to producers at a rate of $18 per ewe retained in the base period from Aug. 1, 2003, through July 31, 2004. Total payments to this program cannot exceed $18 million. In the event that eligible applications result in expenditures in excess of the amount available, FSA will prorate the payments to producers in order to stay within the $18 million available for the program. The final rule does not state when producers can expect their payment, however, the second half of January is most likely. Producers still interested in applying are urged to contact their local FSA office.
Faster disease testing unveiled
Two new tests are offered to goat and sheep owners, through Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory (RMRAHL). The lab, a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, offers testing for caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) in goats and ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV) in sheep. RMRAHL tests for CAEV are done on Wednesdays with results available that day. The tests for OPPV/CAEV is available on Monday and Wednesday with results in 24 to 48 hours. For more information visit the Web site www.ag.state.co.us/animals/rmrahl/rmrahl.html or call RMRAHL at 303/477-0049.
New sheep shearing record
The world record for lamb shearing has been smashed by a Reporoa man, according to the New Zealand News. Justin Bell managed to shear 851 lambs in nine hours, 12 more than the record set in 2000 by Rodney Sutton. The 30-year-old has been shearing for 11 years and has achieved 13 wins as well as the Golden Shears Competition in 1998.