Per capita lamb and mutton consumption is fairly stable in the U.S. Imports of lamb have offset the decline in domestic production in recent years. Lamb and mutton imports, currently account for nearly half of U.S. consumption, are mainly from Australia (about 68-70 percent) and New Zealand (about 30-32 percent).
Ram fertility is a key component in flock reproductive performance during periods of drought. Reduced ram fertility may result from heat stress and a lower plane of nutrition associated with reduced pasture availability. As you prepare for the upcoming breeding season give special consideration to the animal’s body condition. It is also very important to have a complete breeding soundness exam conducted on all rams.
As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.
In the livestock industry, profitability is determined by the efficiency of production; with growth and development of offspring having a large impact. In sheep production, ewe nutrition is one of the biggest factors in fetal growth, milk production, and lamb performance; therefore, determining how profitable a production system will be. Not only does the ewe depend on proper nutrition for fetal development but also udder development and milk production.
The 2015-16 Dakota Performance Ram Test sponsored by participating sheep breeders, NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center, and SDSU Extension, was established to evaluate economically important wool traits and growth performance among young ram lambs under a central test format. In 2016, a number of Columbia and Dorset breeders participated in the test with the intent of developing performance data to support evaluation of those economically important traits within their breeds.
Sheep and goat producers in the upper Midwest rely on annual lamb or kid crops to maintain economic viability. Reduction in the lamb or kid crop due to abortion (premature birth) and stillbirths are a common occurrence on many farms. Some of these problems have implications for human health as well as animal health. This article will discuss some methods to limit risk and improve biocontainment if you find yourself dealing with abortions on your farm.
The 24th annual South Dakota State University “Lamb Bonanza” starts at 3:30 p.m. on February 27th at the campus Frost Arena. The event showcases SDSU’s support of lamb and wool production in South Dakota and it is held in conjunction with the SDSU men’s basketball game. The South Dakota Sheep Growers’ Association will serve leg of lamb sandwiches and lamb spread starting at 3:30 p.m. on the north side of the track at the arena.
The Sheep Safety & Quality Assurance (SSQA) program is a national program created and managed by the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). The SSQA program focuses on assuring consumers that all products coming from sheep are of the highest, safest quality, whether it be meat, milk, or wool/fiber; and assures that the animals were raised using current industry supported husbandry practices.
During the State 4-H Livestock Judging contest, an example skillathon contest will be available for youth to complete. The example will be modeled after the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon, but will be designed primarily for beginner age (8-10 year old) youth, due to the scheduling of the Livestock Judging Contest.
The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association 78th Annual Convention is right around the corner. The Annual Convention is held in Rapid City at the Best Western Ramkota on September 25-26. Convention starts Friday, September 25th with tours to Center of the Nation Wool, New Generation Supplements, the Newell Sheep Yards, and the historic Orwick Family Sheep Ranch. The Orwick family will be hosting a wonderful lamb supper after a pasture tour of the prairie.