Friday, February 3, 2012

U.S. sheep and goat inventory declines

The U.S. sheep and lamb inventory on January 1, 2012, was 5.35 million  head, down 2 percent from 2011. The breeding sheep inventory declined  3 percent to 3.98 million head.

The lamb crop for 2011 totaled 3.51 million head. It was down 2 percent from 2011. The 2011 lambing rate was 109 per 100 mature ewes, an increase of 2 percent from 2010.

Wool production in 2011 was 4 percent below 2010.  However, the value of wool was  up 40 percent. The average price paid for wool in 2011 was $1.67 per lb.  The average fleece weight was 7.3 lbs.

The U.S. goat and kid inventory on January 1, 2012, was 2.86 million head, down 4 percent from 2011. The meat (and other) goat inventory fell 4 percent, while dairy goat numbers were unchanged from 2010. The Angora goat population declined 15 percent.

The breeding goat inventory declined 4 percent to 2.38 million head. The kid crop for 2011 totaled 1.88 million for all goats. It was down 2 percent from 2010.

Severe weather is blamed for the inventory declines:  heavy moisture across many of the northern states and a 100-year drought in the southwest. Texas, the nation's leading sheep and goat-producing state, reduced its sheep, Angora goat, and meat goat inventories by 24, 23, and 11 percent, respectively.

At the same time, strong prices are bringing new people into the sheep and goat business.

Read full USDA report

1 comment:

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