Sheep herd growth great news

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Feb 14, 2005
by WLJ
USDA Under Secretary Jim Butler recently unveiled great news to participants at the American Sheep Industry (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention when he announced that the number of replacement lambs under one year of age had increased 10 percent over the last year. Butler provided this information from the newly published Sheep and Goats Report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
As of Jan. 1, replacement lambs under one year increased from 702,000 in 2004 to 771,000 in 2005.
“Reports of growth in sheep numbers is great news for the entire industry and hits a priority goal of ASI to strengthen our industry,” stated Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. “It is gratifying to see such positive results in the lamb and wool business helped in part by the nine different incentive programs that ASI has provided over the last four years, including the retained breeding ewe-lamb program.”
Confirmation of better times for the wool sector also was evident in the NASS report. Over the last 12 months, wool prices have improved. The average price paid for wool sold in 2004 was $0.80 per pound, up from $0.73 per pound last year. The value of U.S. wool sold in 2004 increased six percent.
"We are proud that our wool marketing programs implemented in 2001 have helped drive competitive pricing for U.S. wool,” added Orwick. ““We have helped build a customer base in the U.S., as well as internationally, with our wool being exported to a dozen countries around the world.” — WLJ