Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CD-T vaccinations

Vaccines are "cheap" insurance against diseases that commonly affect sheep and goats. It is generally recommended that healthy sheep and goats be vaccinated against clostridium perfringins type C and D (overeating disease) and tetanus.

Ewes and does should be vaccinated during their last month of pregnancy so that their offspring acquire passive (temporary) immunity from the colostrum (first milk). Passive immunity begins to decline after about four weeks of age. Lambs and kids should receive their first vaccination for CD-T soon thereafter. A common recommendation is to vaccinate lambs and kids when they are approximately 6 and 10 weeks of age.

A pre-lambing vaccination is the only way to provide protection against type C overeating. Lambs and kids whose dams were not vaccinated should be administered the tetanus antitoxin at the time of docking, castrating, and/or disbudding.

Read full article

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sheep Industry Survey

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is conducting a survey as part of an ongoing national effort to assist the newly formed Rebuilding the Sheep Industry Taskforce that is working to strengthen U.S. sheep production and to address questions regarding product purchases to entice more companies to support industry programs.

Great Pyrenees livestock protection dogIn addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services is looking to gather information about predation and the use of livestock protection dogs.

Members of ASI should receive a copy of the survey in the mail. Otherwise, the survey can be filled out and submitted online at SurveyMonkey.

Completed surveys must be completed by January 11, 2010. Those who complete the survey online will be entered in a drawing for one of five $250 Visa gift cards.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 Maryland Meat Goat Test

No significant changes are planned for the 2010 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The test will be conducted from June 4 until October 2, 2010, at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center (WMREC) in Keedysville, Maryland.

Goats browsing during the 2009 testThe test is open to weanling male goats of any breed or breed cross, with or without registration papers or registration eligibility. The goats must be born between December 15, 2009, and March 20, 2010 (inclusive) and weigh from 35 to 70 lbs. upon delivery to the test site on June 4. The test is open to breeders from any state. A breeder may consign up to five goats. A maximum of 70 goats will be accepted for the 2010 test.

The nomination period is April 1 through May 15, 2010. A $20 nomination fee must accompany each nomination. The fee for testing a goat remains unchanged at $85 per goat. Nomination forms and other documents pertinent to the test may be downloaded from the blog after the first of the year. Nomination packets may also be requested via mail from Pam Thomas at (301) 432-2767 x315.

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test was initiated in 2006 to evaluate the performance of meat goats on a pasture-only diet with natural exposure to internal parasites. The test is most suitable for breeders who raise their goats mostly on pasture, with little or no grain supplementation.

A field day, sale, and skillathon will be held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro, MD, on Saturday, October 2. The top-performing bucks will be sold, along with does.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Wild & Woolly newsletter

The Winter 2009 issue of Wild & Woolly has been published to the web at www.sheepandgoat.com/news/index.html. Wild & Woolly is a newsletter for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in sheep and goat production and marketing. It is published quarterly by the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center.

Mailed copies of the newsletter are available for a cost recovery fee of $10 per year, made payable to the University of Maryland. Past issues of the newsletter may be accessed at www.sheepandgoat.com/news/main.html.

To be added to the newsletter e-mail reflector list, contact Susan Schoenian at sschoen@umd.edu or Pam Thomas at pthomas@umd.edu. Subscribers receive an e-mail message when a new issue of the newsletter has been posted to the web.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New small plant help-desk

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced the opening of its new small plant help-desk, which will provide for operators of small and very small meat, poultry and processed egg products establishments seeking help with agency requirements with direct access to knowledgeable staff specialists.

small lamb and goat processing plantThe help-desk also will provide assistance to state and local food regulatory agencies, FSIS' partners in keeping meat, poultry and egg products safe for consumers.

The new help-desk will support USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative by helping small processors to reduce the time and expense of dealing with agency requirements. "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" is designed to continue the national conversation about developing local and regional food systems and finding ways to support small and mid-sized producers.

It emphasizes the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers, building on the 2008 Farm Bill, which provides additional flexibility for USDA programs to promote local foods. More information on the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative can be found at: www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer .

The FSIS small plant help-desk will serve as a "one-stop shop" for plant owners and operators with questions. More than 90% of the 6,000 plants inspected by FSIS are small or very small.

The help-desk is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. To speak to a staff specialist during this time, call 1-877-FSISHelp (1-877-374-7435). Customers may also contact the help-desk by email at InfoSource@fsis.usda.gov.

Source: USDA News Room

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wool and mohair loan rates

USDA recently announced 2010 national loan rates for wool and mohair. Starting next year, loan rates and posted prices will no longer be regionally-based.

Wool delivered to the Maryland Wool PoolThe 2010 national loan rate for ungraded wool is $0.40 per lb. The loan rate for graded wool is much higher and depends upon the grade (micron count) of the wool. The loan rate for mohair is $4 per lb.

Regional prices will continue to be announced through January 2010. The final date to apply for marketing assistance loans or loan deficiency payments (LDPs) for wool and mohair shorn in 2009 or unshorn pelts for lambs slaughtered in 2009 is February 1, 2010.

Producers are eligible to receive loan deficiency payments for wool and unshorn lambs. An LDP is the difference between the loan rate (currently $0.42) and loan repayment rate (currently $0.13). Thus, the current LDP for Region I ungraded shorn wool is $0.29 per lb. For unshorn lambs, the payment rate is 6.865 lbs. x the LDP rate (or $1.99 per lamb).

Producers must sign up for the LDP program at local FSA offices before giving up ownership of wool or lambs.

Read news release from USDA FSA