Monthly Archives: November 2022

DLGC Message from President Riley Bratten

Greetings Fellow Shepherds,

What a beautiful fall it has been.  Harvest seems to be wrapped up in most areas.  A bigger concern for most of us is the lack of moisture.  A slow measurable rain before freeze up would by beneficial to all.

For most producers, our 2022 lamb crop is gone, or almost gone, and a new crop of lambs will be dropping soon.  What a complete difference in market prices from a year ago, and we aren’t talking about favorable prices either.  For those producers who don’t have a contract with Superior Farms and rely totally on the cash market it hasn’t been so good for them.  Cull ewe market had remained somewhat favorable all year long and there’s still demand for good quality breeding stock. Center of the Nation sale prices were holding steady as well as other seedstock producer sales.

There still seems to be growing demand by young producers looking for a way to come back to the farm.  They are looking for something that they can work into without a huge capital outlay. These new shepherds will need some guidance and would love our seasoned shepherds to share some of their wisdom.

August and September reports have shown that approximately 70% of the lamb consumed during those months was imported lamb.  The industry has struggled with heavy old crop lambs since spring and everyone is patiently waiting for the rest of them to be moved through the kill floor.

Our industry, like other industries, has endured record high input costs.  It appears there doesn’t seem to be cheaper feed or interest rates anytime soon.  These high input costs, along with weather related events, have reduced and impacted feed supplies for producers which made it even more difficult to be profitable in 2022.  As we enter into a new season with many holidays that desire lamb, hopefully we can see some kind of significant increase of prices for our market lambs, whether it’s for cash market, on a contract, or non-traditional ethnic markets.

May you find all the tagged ears in your flock alive and well.