ASI Weekly News –  December 14, 2018

Online Registration Open for 2019 ASI Annual Convention

The Crescent City will host the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention for the first time, and we invite you to join us When the Sheep Go Marching In on Jan. 23-26, 2019, at the New Orleans Marriott.

Online registration for the convention opened in early November. Click Here to register. The 2019 ASI Annual Convention is shaping up to be one of the best in the association’s 154-year history.

Farm Bill Clears Senate, House 
The U.S. Senate and House passed the 2018 Farm Bill this week and it is headed to the desk of President Donald J. Trump for final approval. The Senate approved the bill 87 to 13, while the House approved it by a vote of 369 to 47.

American Sheep Industry Association President Mike Corn said the bipartisan final bill contains a number of priorities for America’s sheep producers.

“U.S. sheep producers strongly support the farm bill,” Corn said. “This bill reauthorizes the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant and the wool fabric provision to address industry infrastructure and international trade inequities. The most prominent feature for sheep producers is the new provision to permanently fund pharmaceutical development for minor use species, which has the potential to impact every sheep operation in America with new sheep health products.

“ASI is very appreciative as well that the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank was included with funding authorized. The Wool Marketing Assistance Loan and Loan Deficiency Payment program were also reauthorized, providing a risk management tool for producers.”

In applauding the most sheep-friendly farm bill in decades, Corn offered a note of appreciation for Rep. Mike Conaway (Texas), who chairs the House Agriculture Committee.

“Rep. Conaway went above and beyond to accommodate sheep industry requests in the final version of the farm bill,” Corn said. “We appreciate his efforts on behalf of the nation’s 88,000 sheep producers.”

Administration Announces Proposal to Redefine WOTUS Rule

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army proposed a revised definition for Waters of the United States seeking to clarify federal regulation under the Clean Water Act.

The new proposed rule would replace the 2015 WOTUS rule and greatly eliminates federal overreach. The proposal outlines six clear categories of waters that would be considered Waters of the United States, including: traditionally navigable waters, tributaries that flow into navigable waters, certain ditches that are navigable, certain lakes and ponds, impoundments of waters of the United States and adjacent wetlands. Significantly, streams and features that only appear when it rains are no longer included. Ephemeral features, most roadside and farm ditches, groundwater and storm water would not be included, unless they meet strict requirements laid out by the proposal.

This proposal is a significant improvement on the 2015 WOTUS rule and gives American sheep producers and private landowners needed certainty in Clean Water Act regulation. Currently, the 2015 WOTUS rule is in effect in 22 states and the District of Columbia due to a court order. However, this rule will supersede the 2015 WOTUS once finalized.

A 60-day comment period will begin once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. ASI and its affiliates will be submitting comments on behalf of the nation’s sheep producers.

Click Here for a full fact sheet and important information on this topic.

Australia Trims 2018-19 Wool Forecast

Australia on Tuesday trimmed its forecast for wool production by nearly 5 percent as dry weather across the world’s largest producer of the fiber squeezes production to at least a 21-year low – the worst on record.

Wool production during the 2018-19 season will total 385,000 tonnes, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said, down from an estimate in September of 404,000 tonnes.

That forecast would mean the smallest amount of wool produced since before 1997 – Australia does not keep official records on wool production before this date.

With Australia’s east coast – home to the majority of the country’s livestock industry – seeing less than 40 percent of the rains it would normally receive in the last six months, farmers have been forced to cull sheep after pastures wilted.

Click Here to read the full story.

Source: Reuters

Deadline Approaching for Extension Position in California

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources – a statewide program with local delivery – in collaboration with the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis is seeking a full-time assistant specialist in cooperative extension in the area of sheep and goat herd health and production.

The focus of this statewide position is sheep and goat health, welfare and production for California’s diverse sheep and goat industries, such as commercial production (e.g., meat, fiber and dairy sheep and goats), targeted grazing for vegetation control (e.g., fire suppression, browse reduction, vineyard and orchard weed management and invasive species control), youth projects (e.g., 4-H, FFA, club lamb/goat), and small and backyard holdings.

The successful candidate will collaborate closely with colleagues in the school, across the university, and within the network of UC Cooperative Extension who work on the health and production of sheep and goats.

To receive fullest consideration, applications must be submitted by Dec. 31.

Click Here to begin the application process.

Apply Now for Nick Theos Scholarships to PLC Conference

The Public Lands Council this week opened the application period for the 2019 Nick Theos Scholarships. The scholarships provide students with a passion for the western livestock industry an opportunity to attend the 2019 PLC Spring Legislative Conference on April 1-2 in Washington, D.C.

The PLC Legislative Conference brings together top industry leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders to discuss public policy issues impacting public lands ranchers. Selected participants will engage in an unforgettable hands-on learning experience exploring legislative priorities and navigating the regulatory environment of public lands ranching.

Two Nick Theos scholarships are available for 2019. The scholarships provide a $250 stipend, complimentary hotel accommodations on Capitol Hill, and complimentary conference registration. While PLC is unable to pay for travel in full, additional sponsorships to help cover travel costs are encouraged.

Nick Theos – a founding member of PLC and lifetime supporter of the livestock industry – passed away on April 11, 2013, at the age of 92. The scholarship was created by the Theos family to encourage the next generation to engage in the policy issues facing public lands ranching.

Click Here for the application. The deadline to apply is Feb. 11.

Shearing Schools Announce 2018-19 Dates

A handful of shearing schools have announced their dates for 2018 and 2019.

In addition to learning to shear in a hands-on manner, the schools offer teaching on equipment, animal welfare and staying in shape for the physically demanding task. Equipment is supplied, but students are often encouraged to bring any equipment they have, as well.

These schools offer training for a wide variety of students – from hobby farmers looking to shear their own flocks to those with aspirations of shearing professionally.

  • Texas A&M AgriLife Shearing School – Jan. 12-14 in San Angelo, Texas. For information, visit
  • Utah State University Shearing School – Jan. 17-19 in Wellsville, Utah. For information, contact Tracy Hadfield at, call 435-797-2875 or visit
  • 3Q Advanced Shearing Schools with Mike Pora: Jan. 28-30 in Newell, S.D., contact Mike Hagens at 701-220-6636 or Alex Moser at 605-254-6004; Feb. 2-3 in Dillon, Mont., contact Mike Schuldt at 406-852-3462 or George Kerr at 406-425-0194; and Feb. 9-10 in Oregon, contact Jake Valentine at 541-253-1034.
  • Maryland Sheep Shearing School – Feb. 8-9 at Dale Lehman’s Farm in Western Maryland. For information, email Aaron Geiman at
  • Missouri University Extension Shearing School – March 6-7 in Jefferson City, Mo. For information, contact Erin Brindisi at 573-681-5859 or email
  • Washington State Beginning Shearing School – April 2-6 in Moses Lake, Wash. An Advanced Shearing School is April 7, 2019, also in Moses Lake. For information, contact Sarah Smith at 509-754-2011, ext. 4313,, or visit
  • Ohio Shearing School – April 12-13 in Hebron, Ohio. For information, contact Roger High at or visit
  • Oregon Sheep Growers Association Shearing School – April 25-28 in Douglas County, Ore. For information, John Fine at or 541-673-0369.
  • Tennessee Annual Shearing School – April 26-27 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. For information, contact Mark Powell at 615-519-7796, or visit
  • Western Pennsylvania Shearing School – April 26-27, 2019, in Scenery Hill, Penn. For information, contact Walt Bumgarner at or 724-438-0111.

2019 ASI Calendars Available

Sheep calendars for the coming year are now available through the American Sheep Industry Association.

Sheep Industry News subscribers received one free copy of the 2019 ASI Calendar with the December 2018 issue of the magazine. But anyone wanting additional copies can order by calling Zahrah Khan in the ASI office at 303-771-3500, ext. 108. The calendars are $5 each.


  • Jan. 4-6 Michigan Sheep Producers Association Shepherd’s Weekend – Lansing, Mich. –
  • Jan. 12-14 – Texas A&M AgriLife Shearing School – San Angelo, Texas –
  • Jan. 17-19 – Utah State University Shearing School – Wellsville, Utah –, call 435-797-2875 or visit
  • Jan. 23-26 – ASI Annual Convention – New Orleans, La. –
  • Jan. 28-30 – 3Q Advanced Shearing School with Mike Pora – Newell, S.D. – Mike Hagens at 701-220-6636 or Alex Moser at 605-254-6004.
  • Jan. 31 – Colorado Farm Show Sheep Day – Greeley, Colo. –
  • Feb. 2-3 – 3Q Advanced Shearing School with Mike Pora – Dillon, Mont. – Mike Schuldt at 406-852-3462 or George Kerr at 406-425-0194.
  • Feb. 8-9 – Maryland Sheep Shearing School – Dale Lehman Farm in Western Maryland – Aaron Geiman at
  • Feb. 9-10 – 3Q Advanced Shearing School with Mike Pora – Oregon – Jake Valentine at 541-253-1034
  • Feb. 23 – Washington State Lambing School – Mabton, Wash. –
  • March 6-7 – Missouri University Extension Shearing School – Jefferson City, Mo. – Erin Brindisi at 573-681-5859 or email
  • March 16 – Washington State Lambing School – Ellensburg, Wash. –
  • April 2-6 – Washington State Beginning Shearing School – Moses Lake, Wash. – Sarah Smith at 509-754-2011, ext. 4313 or
  • April 7 – Washington State Advanced Shearing School – Moses Lake, Wash. – Sarah Smith at 509-754-2011, ext. 4313 or
  • April 11-13 – Shepherd’s Cross Shearing School – Claremore, Okla. –
  • April 12-13 – Ohio Shearing School – Hebron, Ohio – Roger High at or visit
  • April 13 – California Ram Sale – Porterville, Calif. –
  • April 25-28 – Oregon Sheep Growers Association Shearing School – Douglas County, Ore. – John Fine at or 541-673-0369
  • April 26-27 – Tennessee Shearing School – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Mark Powell at 615-519-7796 or
  • April 26-27 – Western Pennsylvania Shearing School – Scenery Hill, Penn. – Walt Bumgarner at or 724-438-0111
  • April 27-28 – Washington County (N.Y.) Fiber Tour –
  • May 4-5 – 46th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – West Friendship, Md. –


Weekly National Market Prices for Wool 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prices for wool can be accessed at The effective repayment rate is the lower of either the 30-day average or weekly rate.

Loan Rate
LDP Rate
Week of 12/11/18
Graded Wool
CLEAN PRICES in $ per pound
<18.6 Micron
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
> 29 Micron
Not Available
GREASE PRICES in $ per pound
Ungraded Wool
40 cents
55 cents
Not Available
Unshorn Pelt
6.865 lbs x
Ungraded Wool LDP
Not Available

Wool LDPs are not available when the weekly repayment rate is above loan rate.

Market Summary, Week ending Dec. 7, 2018

Feeder Prices, 60-90 lbs., ($/cwt.), San Angelo, TX: $141.00-$172.00 per cwt., St. Onge-Newell, SD: $160.02-$203.77; Billings, MT (Nov. 12): $156.17-$188.51.

Slaughter Prices – Live, Negotiated, 130-172 lbs. $132.55 per cwt.

Slaughter Prices – Formula, 78.60 lbs. carcass weight $270.46 per cwt.

Slaughter Prices “Comprehensive Information” — Formula & Negotiated, 77.94 lbs. carcass weight $270.18 per cwt.

Equity Electronic Auction, 110 lbs. $123; 128 lbs. $127.75.

Cutout Value/Net Carcass Value1, $341.62 per cwt.

Carcass Price, Choice and Prime, YG 1-4, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), No prices reported.

Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), Trimmed 4″ Loins 554.77, Rack, roast-ready, frenched (cap-on) 1,606.37, Rack, roast-ready, frenched, special (cap-off) 2,195.30, Leg, trotter-off, partial boneless 520.28, Shoulder, square-cut 283.73, Ground lamb 568.24.

Imported Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), AUS Rack (fresh, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 1,217.08, AUS Shoulder (fresh, square-cut) 318.18, AUS Leg (fresh, semi boneless) 405.93, AUS Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 1,317.15, NZ Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 20 oz/up) 1,213.75, AUS Shoulder (frozen, square-cut) 262.32.

Exported Adult Sheep, 337 head

Wool, ($/pound clean), delivered FOB, From Seventeen Weeks Ago: 18 micron (Grade 80s) NA, 19 micron (Grade 80s) NA, 20 micron (Grade 70s) NA, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 6.00, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 5.28, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 5.26, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) 4.92, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.74, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) NA, 27 Micron (Grade 54-56s) NA, 28 micron (Grade 54s) NA, 30 micron (Grade 50s) NA, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) NA, Merino Clippings NA.

Australian Wool, delivered FOB, 18 micron (Grade 80s) 5.89-6.68, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 5.54-6.28, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 5.40-6.12, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 5.35-6.06, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 5.37-6.09, 23 micron (Grade 62s) NA, 24 micron(Grade 60-62s) NA, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.63-4.12, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 3.12-3.54, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.21-2.50, 30 micron (Grade 50s) 1.82-2.06, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) 1.22-1.38, Merino Clippings 3.01-3.41.

1The cutout value is the same as a net carcass value. It is a composite value that sums the value of the respective lamb cuts multiplied by their weights. It is also the gross carcass value less processing and packaging costs.

Source: USDA AMS

ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 88,000 sheep producers.

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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