- December 2016
ASI Director of Industry Information
ASI President Burton Pfliger (N.D.) fielded interviews during the 2016 National Association of Farm Broadcasters Trade Talk on Nov. 10 in Kansas City, Mo. Pfliger was able to share issues and topics important to the sheep industry with broadcasters across the country.
“Sheep enterprises have been the highlight of many diversified agricultural operations around the country this year,” conveyed Pfliger. “Sheep prices are trending seasonally downward but not at the severity or rate of other markets including cattle, corn and beans. Sheep are the bright spot on many diversified producers balance sheets adding value and profitability. In fact, I know of producers from my region who have added as many as 400 additional ewes to their operation and are limiting cow numbers.”
One important issue ASI has been working is the full implementation of mandatory price reporting. MPR provides open and transparent markets for all industry players from producers to feeders and processors. Transparent markets are fair markets for all industry sectors.
“With the acquisition of JBS by Mountain States Rosen, the sheep industry has been absent one additional reporting packer,” stated Pfliger. “The 3/70/20 confidentiality rule has eliminated market reporting, thus eliminating the availability of Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb, the only risk protection program accessible to sheep producers. While confidentiality may now only be affecting the sheep markets, the continued concentration of the packing industry in the beef and pork industries makes this a looming issue on the horizon, and one USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service must solve.”
Other news ASI was able to share with reporters was the funding of new and exciting programs, such as: the fourth round of Let’s Grow funding; a new series on proper sheep handling highlighting Dr. Temple Grandin (available in both English and Spanish); and a brand new, updated Sheep Production Handbook with a fully searchable USB drive to refine searches for key words and topics.