Greetings Fellow Shepherds,
Well what a year it’s been. From hot and dry weather for us in the Midwest to lamb markets that hit record prices. Some producers have had tough decisions to make on whether they should keep replacement ewe lambs with these high prices or if they should sell them and wait another year by not culling many ewes. Yet cull ewe prices have been so strong that many producers have cleaned house with their flocks and shipped those ewes that are not meeting their standards, and with feed prices being so high that might be the best economical decision. We get many calls about this market and how long it’s going to stick around. Visiting with people in the industry, they seem to think that $2.00 cash lambs may be the new normal. History has told us different with a hard crash after such high prices. When we hit that high earlier this summer there was some resistance from the consumers. We have since fallen off of our highs about $0.30 – 0.35. Seems as though we may have stabilized for now. Only time will tell what will happen.
The DLGC Board contacted Superior Farms when cash prices outpaced our contract. After months of tough negotiations, the Board did agree on a one year contract with Superior Farms which improved the bottom line for our producers. We will start a negotiation process again early this winter with them. We know many producers are not happy with the difference between the cash market and the contract this year. We have finally hit a time, as of right now, where the contract is as high or higher than the cash. We as producers must fulfill our signed contracts with Superior Farms. Please make every effort to deliver the number of lambs you contracted for. The 2021 contract results will impact our 2022 negotiations. Contact Phyllis if you need to know the number of lambs you contracted. We all are hoping we have entered into new times in the sheep industry and our hard work will be blessed with profitable prices.
As another summer comes to an end, we at DLGC are thinking about our members. We hope everyone has enough feed, or has been able to secure additional feed, for the winter. We hope everyone has a safe harvest. And, we all pray that the rains continue into the fall so subsoil moisture can be restored back to normal.
May you find all the tagged ears in your flock alive and well.
Riley Braaten, President