Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Ten Sheep Stories of 2013

  1. Lamb prices recover.
    Lamb prices were at more profitable levels in 2013.

  2. ASI rolls out market news app.
    ASI launched its first mobile application providing lamb and wool market information to anyone with a smart phone or tablet.

  3. $5 million lamb buy
    In July, USDA AMS made a $5 million purchase of lamb products for federal food nutrition assistance programs. ASI requested the purchase to strengthen lamb prices at the farm gate.

  4. Industry roadmap final report released.
    The Roadmap Advisory Committee released its final version of the American Sheep Industry Roadmap report. The report provides a strategy for the industry to strengthen its short- and long-term competitive advantage and return the industry to consistent profitability.

  5. Lamb checkoff rate increase
    The new lamb check-off rate went into effect on June 13, increasing the assessment from $0.005 to $0.007 per pound of live sheep sold and from 30 cents to 42 cents per head processed (first handler).

  6. GISPA report published.
    An investigation by the Packers & Stockyards Program concluded that the decrease in lamb prices that occurred in 2010, 2011, and 2012 was due to market forces, including the rising cost of lamb imports. The report was requested because of wide swings in prices. Price manipulation was also suspected.

  7. Instrument grading moves forward.
    The American Lamb Board and the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center co-funded a study to finalize the instrument grading (computer imaging) standards and to evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of the system.

  8. NLPA lending program includes funding for flock expansion.
    Up to $2 million of the National Livestock Producers Association's (NLPA) Sheep & Goat Fund was identified specifically for the purchase of breeding stock.

  9. Revised scrapie flock certification program
    The revised Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) went into effect on June 3. The Complete Monitored category was eliminated from the program. Complete monitored and certified flocks were required to convert to the Export or Select categories, which have more sampling requirements, or drop out of the program.

  10. COOL takes effect.
    The new "country of origin" labeling (COOL)  rule took effect November 23. Labels indicate which country an animal was born, raised, and harvested in.
Source: ASI, 12.27.13

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