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American Sheep Industry Association; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112-2692
Phone: (303) 771-3500 Fax: (303) 771-8200 Writer/Editor: Judy Malone
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Suggested Changes to Scrapie Rule Proposed

The Federal Register notice proposing changes to the scrapie regulations by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was posted this week. Items recommended to be amended include changing the risk groups and categories established for individual animals and for flocks; increasing the use of genetic testing as a means of assigning risk levels to animals; reducing movement restrictions for animals found to be genetically less susceptible or resistant to scrapie; and simplifying, reducing or removing certain recordkeeping requirements.

APHIS is also proposing to provide designated scrapie epidemiologists more alternatives and flexibility when testing animals in order to determine flock designations under the regulations. A change to the definition of high-risk animal is recommended, which will change the types of animals eligible for indemnity and to pay higher indemnity for certain pregnant ewes and early maturing ewes.

The proposed changes also make the identification and recordkeeping requirements for goat owners consistent with those for sheep owners. These changes would affect sheep and goat producers, persons who handle sheep and goats in interstate commerce and state governments.

“ASI has, for several years now, asked APHIS to propose amendments to the scrapie eradication regulation to help expedite the eradication process through the recognition of recent scientific findings, experience with program implementation and progress toward the eradication goal,” said Burton Pfliger, American Sheep Industry Association president. “We appreciate USDA finally getting this proposed rule out for public comment. ASI will be analyzing the proposed rule and will be filing comments.”

All comments must be submitted on or before Nov. 9 to be considered. The proposed rule is available at

Call to Action: Pass Mandatory Price Reporting Legislation

In a letter sent to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry this week by national agricultural groups, the message to reauthorize the mandatory price reporting (MPR) program before any lapse in authority was clear. The House bill extends the program through Sept. 30, 2020, with a few amendments.

“The reporting program has become an essential marketing tool for both producers and packers. Therefore, all livestock associations are in agreement that it is essential that the Senate agriculture committee promptly approve the mandatory price reporting legislation that was sent to them by the full House of Representatives this spring,” said Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association, a signator to the letter.

“The loss of meat sale and purchase reports by USDA threatens the information available to sheep producers about lamb prices during the largest lamb marketing period of the year,” continued Orwick. “Additionally, many lamb contracts are also tied to these same USDA reports.”

Proposed changes to the program will result in a greater volume of information being available to lamb producers to utilize in making their selling decisions. Another provision authorizes the “Study on Livestock Mandatory Reporting” and “Emergency Authority.”

In conclusion, Orwick stated, “It is imperative that sheep producers contact members of the Senate agriculture committee to encourage adoption of the legislation that expires Sept. 30, 2015. We have, in the past, experienced the impact a lapse in reporting has caused and we need to do everything possible to avoid this again.”

September Wool Journal Available

The September 2015 issue of the Wool Journal displays headlines such as China’s Growth Slows but Positive Global Economic Conditions Continue, China’s raw wool Imports Leap – Stocks Building? And Weak A$ Helps Australian Growers, Hurts U.S. Growers.

The American Sheep Industry Association commissioned Chris Wilcox, a leading analyst and commentator on the global wool industry, to produce the Wool Journal, which offers insight into the U.S. and global wool markets.

The journal is available on the ASI website at

Research Journal Article Available

Gastro-intestinal Parasite (GIP) Infestation and Its Associated Effects on Growth Performance of Bucks on a Pasture-based Test in Maryland written by K. Nadarajah, S. Schoenian and D.L. Kuhlers is available on the American Sheep Industry Association’s website at The authors conclude that only bucks ranking high for growth performance and that are resistant to GIP should be considered for breeding.

Gastro-intestinal parasite (GIP) infestation is a major problem in sheep and goats and results in substantial economic losses. The authors investigated the prevalence of GIP infestation and its effects on the growth traits of bucks (n=416) on a performance test in Maryland over a 12-week-test period. Out of the total bucks tested, 53 percent did not receive any deworming treatment (RG) whereas 47 percent of bucks received one or more anthelmintic treatments (SG).

The RG bucks had higher average daily gain, higher body condition scores and were less anemic but had no difference in Fecal Egg Counts than SG bucks. Correlations between start-of-test body weight with FAMACHA© score (FAM) (-0.22, P < 0.0001) and between end-of-test body weight with FAM (-0.24; P < 0.0001) were negative. Regression average daily gain on FAM was negative (-5.99; P < 0.001) indicating that an increase of a unit of FAM score could reduce average daily gain of bucks by 5.99 g.

An understanding of the level of GIP infestation, its effects on performance of bucks and their relationships could benefit the goat industry. Only bucks that ranked high for growth performance and that are resistant to GIP should be considered for breeding.

Niman Ranch Being Sold to Perdue

Niman Ranch is being purchased by Perdue Farms. Niman Ranch began in the early 1970s on a small ranch in California, and has grown to include more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers, spread across the country. The Niman Ranch brand covers a complete line of pork, beef, lamb, cage-free eggs and a variety of smoked and cured meats. All products are sourced from animals raised to high welfare standards and without any antibiotics.

Jeff Tripician, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Niman Ranch, said the company will operate as an independent unit and that its staff, animal treatment protocols and farmer contracts will remain the same. Jim Purdue, Perdue Farms chairman, agreed in a release.

Regional Antimicrobial Use in Food Animal Workshop in Denver

Regional leaders in livestock production, the veterinary community and the feed supply industry will be among the speakers at a Sept. 28 workshop in Denver, CO, on the stewardship of antimicrobial drug use in livestock.

Organized by Farm Foundation, NFP, the workshop is an opportunity for participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as the FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive. These actions mean some medically-important antimicrobial drugs will see label changes allowing only therapeutic uses, and use of the drugs will require a veterinarian’s prescription for the drug, direct administration by a veterinarian, or a veterinary consultation on disease management protocols.

The Sept. 28 workshop is targeted to all pork, cattle, poultry and sheep producers, as well as veterinarians and feed suppliers in Colorado, Wyoming, Western Kansas, Western Nebraska and Utah. The workshop will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. MDT at the National Western Stock Show, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver, CO. BARN Media and the Colorado Ag News Network are cooperating partners for this workshop.

Officials of FDA and USDA will be at the Denver workshop to review the policies and answer questions. Regional perspectives will be provided by a producer, veterinarian and feed supplier.

There is no charge to participate. Advanced registration, which is requested but not required, can be completed online at This is one of 12 workshops Farm Foundation is hosting on the topic across the country.

Farm Payments Face Nearly 7-percent Sequestration Cut

Farmers could start getting checks for Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs as soon as October, but the checks could be roughly 7 percent lower than they were expecting.

Thanks to a little known provision in the Farm Bill, ARC or PLC checks could be 6.8 percent to 7.3 percent smaller than calculated due to sequester cuts which became law in 2013. The legislation detailed specific percentage cuts for mandatory and discretionary federal programs.

Farmers have until Sept. 30 to enroll in the ARC and PLC commodity programs they elected earlier in the year. Once farmers are enrolled they are eligible to claim payments that will be made afterOct. 1.

Video Explores How Antibiotics Are Used In Livestock

Antibiotic use in livestock is one of the most discussed and misunderstood topics in agriculture today, but the newest North American Meat Institute Glass Walls video aims to clarify exactly how, when and why antibiotics are used in animals. The video features a virtual tour of a livestock production facility from University of Nebraska and Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center veterinarian Brad Jones, DVM. Jones explains the decision-making process regarding antibiotic use in cattle and pigs, including the diagnosis of illnesses, treatment and antibiotic use considerations and how animals are tracked from antibiotic administration to harvest.

“I think the use of antibiotics in our industry is appropriate and I would also use the term responsible. It’s appropriate for animal well-being and comfort. It’s appropriate to treat certain diseases that affect the animal,” Jones says.

To watch the video, to go

ASI Joins In Table-top Crisis Communications Training

The FMD Cross-Species Communications Team, comprised of communications professionals from national livestock industry organizations, and Texas Tech University hosted a Foot-and-Mouth Disease crisis communications exercise Wednesday, Sept. 9, on Texas Tech’s campus. The drill, which focused on Texas government and industry response in the event of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak, demonstrated the ongoing collaborative efforts between various stakeholders to enhance FMD crisis response preparedness.

The nearly 60 drill participants represented Texas-region academia, government, livestock, commodity and agricultural organizations. A real-life interactive tabletop displayed a miniature town, farm and confined livestock feeding operations, allowing participants to set up physical roadblocks, establish a central command center and see the impact of the disease on an entire community.

Dee Ellis, DVM, Texas state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Health Commission, who participated in the drill along with several members of his management team, said the opportunity for multiple organizations to connect and network was the most important element of the event.

“We’ll take away some things we need to work on from this, but the real value is the partnership and collaboration that takes place in exercises like this one,” Ellis said.

The exercise was conducted through cooperation between the Texas Tech Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and the FMD Cross-Species Team, which includes the American Sheep Industry Association; Dairy Management Inc., representing the national dairy checkoff; the National Pork Board; and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff.

Additional information is available at the FMD Cross-Species Team’s website

Advantage of Being a Farm Kid Over a City Kid

Growing up on a farm, specifically a dairy farm, reduces the chances of developing allergy and asthma complications, according to new a study. The research published recently in the journal Science, finds in children, allergic sensitization and asthma are strongly influenced by genes and the environment.

A dairy farm is one of the strongest protective environments due to high-level exposure to Lipopolysaccharides, also known as endotoxin, a cell wall component of Gram-negative bacteria.

In order to test whether exposure to endotoxin and protection from allergy are related, researchers exposed mice to a low dose every other day for two weeks. The mice were able to develop a protein called A20 when exposed to farm dust. The study found the allergy-preventer doesn’t affect the immune system, it influences the structural cells that make up the lining of the lung. Once the researchers removed A20 from the lungs of mice, the farm dust stopped protecting the rodents from allergic reactions.

The research is linked to medical term hygiene hypothesis, which argues a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, microbes and symbiotic microorganisms, increases the susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system.

Market Summary, Week ending September 4, 2015
Feeder Prices ($/cwt.), San Angelo: 60-70 lbs. for 180-194, 70-90 lbs. 180-188; 90-100 lbs. for 178-184; 100-110 lbs. for 164-166.
Slaughter Prices – Negotiated ($/cwt.), wooled and shorn 130-165 lbs. for 145-165 (wtd avg 154.79).
Slaughter Prices – Formula1, 4,084 head at 289.48-320 $/cwt. for 70.4 lbs.; 2,457 head at 271.40-314 $/cwt. for 79.3 lbs.
Equity Electronic Auction, shorn 145 lbs. for 160.75.
Cutout Value/Net Carcass Value2, $326.04/cwt.
Carcass Price, Choice and Prime, YG 1-4, $/cwt., weighted averages, 759 head at 55-65 lbs. for 343.57, 2,171 head at 65-75 lbs. for 326.72, 1,097 head at 75-85 lbs. for 314.14, 717 head at 85 lbs. and up for 301.28.
Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), Trimmed 4″ Loins 529.41, Rack, roast-ready, frenched (cap-on) 1,426.29, Rack, roast-ready, frenched, special (cap-off) 1,884.22, Leg, trotter-off, partial boneless 488.00, Shoulder, square-cut 298.57, Ground lamb 567.33.
Imported Boxed Lamb, weighted average prices ($/cwt.), AUS Rack (fresh, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 925.42, AUS Shoulder (fresh, square-cut) 259.15, AUS Leg (fresh, semi boneless) 415.64, AUS Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 28 oz/up) 702.15, NZ Rack (frozen, frenched, cap-off, 20 oz/up) 777.40, AUS Shoulder (frozen, square-cut) 197.84.
Exported Adult Sheep, 0 head
Wool, Price ($/pound) Clean, Delivered, June-July prices: 18 micron (Grade 80s) NA, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 4.21, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 4.20, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.90-3.96, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.69, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.53, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) 3.42, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 3.18-3.32, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 2.95, 27 micron (Grade 56s) 2.89, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.62, 29 micron (Grade 50-54s) NA, 30-34 micron (Grade 44-50s) 1.89.
Australian Wool, Clean, delivered FOB warehouse & gross producers ($/pound), 18 micron (Grade 80s) 3.58-4.06, 19 micron (Grade 80s) 3.46-3.92, 20 micron (Grade 70s) 3.32-3.76, 21 micron (Grade 64-70s) 3.28-3.72, 22 micron (Grade 64s) 3.26-3.69, 23 micron (Grade 62s) 3.24-3.67, 24 micron (Grade 60-62s) 3.06-3.46, 25 micron (Grade 58s) 2.92-3.31, 26 micron (Grade 56-58s) 2.76-3.13, 28 micron (Grade 54s) 2.35-2.67, 30 micron (Grade 50s) 2.23-2.53, 32 micron (Grade 46-48s) 1.93-2.19, Merino Clippings 2.70-3.06.
1Prices reported for the two weight categories of the largest volume traded. Second, multiplying the carcass prices by an estimated 50.4% dressing percentage yields live weight prices. 2The 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’s AMS

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ASI WEEKLY NEWS FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY LEADERS American Sheep Industry Association; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112-2692 Phone: (303) 771-3500 Fax:

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What:                  20-Mile House Combined Driving Trial Description: It’s a competition horse-drawn carriage driving, in 3 phases: dressage, a cones course, and a 4.5km
20-Mile House Combined Driving Trial

 Lamb Value Based Pricing Report  Submitted by the Roadmap Implementation Team Sub-Committee  Cody Hiemke, Dennis Stiffler, Rick Stott & Wes Patton  November 20,
Industry Roadmap Implementation

November 14, 2014 ASI WEEKLY NEWS FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY LEADERS American Sheep Industry Association; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112-2692 Phone:
ASI WEEKLY – Nov 14, 2014

NEWS RELEASE U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave. Washington, DC 20250 Contact: Kent Politsch, (202) 720-7163 USDA Expands Access to Credit to Help
USDA Expands Access to Credit