All sheep and lamb inventory in the United States on January 1, 2007, totaled 6.19 million head, down 1 percent from 2006, but still 1 percent above 2005. After two consecutive year-to-year increases, inventory growth was hampered by extremely dry weather in the Southwestern part of the United States.
Ewes one year old and older, at 3.71 million head, were 1 percent above last year. The 2006 lamb crop of 4.09 million head, was down 1 percent from 2005. The 2006 lambing rate was 112 lambs per 100 ewes one year old and older.
Shorn wool production in the United States during 2006 was 36.0 million pounds, down 3 percent from 2005. Sheep and lambs shorn totaled 4.85 million head, down 4 percent from 2005. The average price paid for wool sold in 2006 was $0.68 per pound.
Goats up 3%
All goat inventory in the United States on January 1, 2007, totaled 2.93 million head, up 3 percent from 2006. Breeding goat inventory totaled 2.44 million head, up 3 percent from 2006.
Milk goat inventory increased 2 percent to 296,000 head, while Angora goats were down 8 percent totaling 238,000 head. The 2006 kid crop totaled 1.92 million head for all goats, up 4 percent from 2005.
More sheep and goats in Maryland
In Maryland, the sheep and lamb inventory increased 5 percent. The 2006 lambing rate was 120 lambs per 100 ewes. But, number of sheep shorn and pounds of wool produced declined by 11.8 percent.
Maryland wool prices averaged 51 cents per pound in 2006, below the national average (due to differences in wool type), but above all nearby states. Sheep numbers increased in Virginia (+7%) and West Virginia (+6%) , but declined in Pennsylvania (-2%)
Meat goat numbers increased by 15 percent in Maryland. Meat goat numbers also increased in Virginia (+7.3%), West Virginia (+10.5%), and Pennsylvania (+2.7%). Delaware sheep and goat statistics are not reported individually.
Source: USDA NASS, February 2, 2007