The sheep and lamb situation

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Title:
The sheep and lamb situation
Physical Description:
30 no. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:
Frequency:
monthly
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sheep industry -- Marketing -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lamb meat industry -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
SLS-1 (Jan. 1937)-
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Ceased with SLS-30 (June 1939).
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: SLS-24 (Dec. 20, 1938).

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 01642958
ocm01642958
Classification:
lcc - HD9436.U5 A2
System ID:
AA00011235:00021

Related Items

Succeeded by:
Hog situation
Succeeded by:
Beef cattle situation
Succeeded by:
Livestock situation


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Full Text





UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

SLS-23 NOVEMBER 19, 1938


THE SHEEP AND LAMB S SITUATION





SHEEP AND LAMBS: PRICE AT CHICAGO AND FEDERALLY INSPECTED
SLAUGHTER, AVERAGE 1924-33, AND 1937 TO DATE
DOLLARS
PER 100
POUNDS PRICE OF LAMBS, GOOD AND CHOICE


12 19Z- -vr 92*-33




37

1,93a




6


--A- rANe FROM OD CROP 7T NEW CROP BASIS

THOUSANDS I I I I
SLAUGHTER OF SHEEP AND LAMBS

I8l
1,600 -- 1937 -




1.400 -o




1.200

Average 1924-33
3uj

1,000 -
JAN. MAR. MAY JULY SEPT. NOV.


UI. IS.D OI Tll OPFAICULTURCI


NEC. 21B7l IURAU OF AGRICULTURE" ECONOMICS







-2-


SLS-23

THE SHEEP AND LAMB SITUATI ON
------------~----------------------------------


This issue includes the major factors
in the Sheep and Lamb Outlook report
issued November 3 as a part of the
annual outlook for sheep, lambs, and
wool.

Sumn ary

The number of lambs fed during the 1938-39 feeding season will be

somewhat smaller than the large number fed last year, the Bureau of Agricultural

Economics reports. For the 4 months, July through October, shipments of

feeder lambs and sheep into the Corn Belt were smaller than in 1937. Re-

ports from the Western Feeding States also indicate that there will be some

decrease in feeding in that area.

Total slaughter of sheep and lambs during the fed lamb marketing

season (December-April), however, probably will be somewhat larger than

a year earlier. The 1938 lamb crop was 5 percent larger than that of 1937,

and was the largest of record. The increase in the number of lambs

produced already has been reflected in larger marketing of lambs in the

present marketing year. Although marketing of fed lambs to May 1, 1939,

may be smaller than a year earlier, marketing of other lambs and sheep,

particularly from Texas, are likely to be larger.

Some improvement in consumer demand for meats and in wool prices

is expected during the coming year. Although the change from a year earlier

in the total supply of sheep and lambs for the 193&-39 fed-lamb marketing

season is still uncertain, it does not seem probable that any increase in

supplies that may occur will be sufficiently large to offset the effects of









the improvement in demand. Consequently, prices of fed lambs in the cming

marketing season may average higher than a. year earlier.

The longer-time putlook is for an upward trend in sheep numbers

during the next few years. The size of the lamb crop, however, is affected

to a considerable extent by feed supplies and weather conditions during the

lrambing season. Weather pnd feed conditions in all of the principal

leaning areas last spring were unusually favorable. And the 1938 lamb crop

may not be equalled for several years, even though sheep numbers increase.

But the expansion in sheep numbers is likely to be reflected in increased

production of wool.

REEITT DEVELOPIH.'ETS

Prices of slaughter.lambs, after declining seasonally during the
summer months, advanced slightly in late September and fairly sharply in
late October and early November. For the week ended November 12, prices of
good and choice slaughter lambs at Chicago avera4ed nearly $9 per 100 pounds,
about 85 cents higher than a month earlier, although still about 70 cents
lower than in the corresponding week last year. Last.year, prices of
slaughter lambs declined sharply from November through January, contrary to
the usual seasonal trend.

Receipts of sheep and lambs continued seasonally large through mid-
October this year, but dropped sharply late in the month. Inspected slaughter
of sheep and lambs in October, totaling 1,638,000 head, was 3 percent
smaller than a month earlier but 7 percent larger than in October 1937.

OUTLOOK

Some reduction in lamb feeding indicated

The number of lambs fed during the 1938-39 feeding season will be
smaller than the large number fed in the 1937-38 season,but probably will be
at least as large as in any of the 4 seasons prior to 1937-3-8 Feeding is
expected to be reduced this season both in the Corn Belt and in the western
feeding States. The decrease in the Corn Belt States probably will be
mostly in the area east of the Mississippi River. Present indications are
that the number fed in the area west of the River (including lambs on wheat
pastures) will be about the same as a year ago.

For the 4 months, July through October, shipments of feeder lambs and
sheep from stockyards markets into the Corn Belt were estimated to be about
6 percent smaller than a year earlier, and a little smaller than the 5-year


- 3 -


SLS-23








(1932-36) average for these months. The number roing into the States east
of the Mississippi River was nearly 25 percent smaller than last year and
was the smallest in 5 years. But the number going into the States west of
the Missi.ssipi was somewhat larger than last year. Available information
indicates that the number of fecder lambs shirped into the Corn Belt direct
(not going through stockyards markets), to the end of October, 'as smaller
than last year.

The number of lambs fed pro'rhfly will be smaller this year in all of
the Eastern Corn Belt States, e7 Tot possibly Ohio, with the largest decrease
indicated for Michigan. In the Western Corn Belt States, present indications
are that the number of lambs fed this year will be smaller than last in
Minnesota and South Dakota, larger in Missouri and Kansas, and about the
same in Iowa. In Nebraska a sharp decrease in the Scottsbluff area may be
largely offset by increases elsewhere. A rather heavy movement of feeder
lambs to wheat pastures in Kansas and Nebraska occurred in late September and
early October. These pastures, however, suffered materially from lack of
moisture in October, and the number of lambs finished on p-istures will be
considerably smaller than s-ermed probable earlier in the season.

Reports indicate that lamb feeding operations in nearly all of
the Western States will be on a smaller scale than last season. In Colorado
a reduction of 10 to 15 percent in the number fed seems probable, with a
total about the same as 2 years ago. Most of the reduction will be in the
northern part of the St-te, with some reduction probable in each of the
other regular feeding areas. But there is an unusually large number of
lambs in the eastern dry.land sections of the State, mostly on wheat pastures.

In Texas the failure of winter wheat pastures to make sensonal growth,
except in the northern Panhandle, may tend to reduce the number of lambs
fed in that State from earlier expectations. Shipments of 1'mbs from Texas
to points outside the State continued large in October, but the total of
such shipments from July through October appears to have been no larger
this year than last. As a result of continued lack of rainfall, feed
conditions in the principal sheep area of Texas are not favorable. Unless
this situation is improved by early winter moisture, there may be a rather
heavy movement of l'mb from Texas in I:ovcmbcr nd December.

Reports from most of the important western feeder lamb producing
States indicate that shipments of feeder lambs this year have included very
few ewe lambs, '-nd that the number of ewe lambs kept for additions to
breeding flocks is the largest in some years.

Lamb slaughter larger this season

The lamb crop this year was about 5 percent larger than that of
1937 and the largest on record. The increase was the result of a 9-percent
larger crop in the Western Sheep States(including Texas .nd South Dakota),
as the crop in the native States was -lihtl1y smaller. Most of the gain was
in four States: California, Texas, Wyorring, and South Dakota.


SLS-23


- 4 -





SLS-23


Estimated lamb crop in the United States and specified
regions, average 1931-35, annual 1935-38

:Western States::
Native United
Year :excluding : Texas :te
e :States States
: Texa
Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

Av. 1931-35 : 16,020 2,998 11,105. 30,124

1935 : 15,138 2,254 11,195 28,587
1936 : 16,230 3,814 10,901 30,979
1937 : 15,293 4,158 11,329 30,780
19389 : 16,577 -4, 615 l11,029. 532,221

In view of the larger lamb crop, slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs
for the 1938-39 lamb marketing year, whichtegan May 1, will be larger than for
1937-38, when inspected slaughter of sheep and lambs was 17,437,000 head. In
1931 the lamb crop was only slightly smaller than that of 1938, and inspected
slaughter for the year 1931-32 totaled 18,648,000 head.

Inspected slaughter of sheep and l ambs in the first half of the present
marketing year, May through October, totaled about 9.4 million head, 6 percent
larger than that of a year earlier. All of this increase was in the slaughter
of 198g lambs. Slaughter and market records indicate that the number of
sheep and yearlings slaughtered, was smaller this year than last. In most
years inspected slaughter of sheep and lambs in the first half of the marketing
year represents 50 or 51 percent of the yearly total.

Improvement in lamb prices probable

In early June 1938 the weekly average price of good and choice spring
lambs -t Chicago was about $9.50, $3 lower than a year earlier. Only a slight
seasonal decline in prices of such ,Lrsgbsf6cRe in June and July, but in
August and September prices weakened as markeings increased. In mid.-
Octob r the weekly average price of good and choice slaughter lambs at
Chicago was about $8.10, but prices strengthened considerably in late. October
and early November.

Probably the most important difference between the lamb price situation
for 1939 and that of the current year is that some improvement in consumer
demand for meats is in prospect. It also is expected that wool prices and
pelt values will be higher in 1939 than in 1938.

Some increase is expected in the total live weight of sheep and lambs
slaughtered under Federal inspection during the coming fed lamb marketing
season (December-April) compared with that of a year earlier. Although
marketing of fed lambs may be smaller than those of last year, marketing of
other lambs and sheep, particularly from Texas, are likely to be larger.
But it hardly seems probable that the increase in supplies will be sufficient
to offset the effects on prices of the improvement in demand. Consequently,
prices of fed lambs in the 1938-39 fed lamb season may average higher than
a year earlier.


- 5 -





SLS-23


Inspected slaughter, live weight, and cost to packers for sheep
and lambs, December-April, average 1929-30 to 1933-34,
annual 1934-35 to 1937-38

Period :Inspected : Live weight : Cost to packers
:slaughter : Average Total : Average Total
: 1 : : :
:Thousands Pounds Mil. lbs. Dcllars Mil. dol.
Dec.-Apr.:
Av. 1929-30 to
1933-34 ........: 6,759 86 583 7.56 '4

1934-35 ........: 6,634 87 574 7,g8 45
1935-36 ..........: 6, 63 90 616 9.49 58
1936-37 ..........: 7,234 89 642 9.82 63
1937-38 ..........: 7,231 89 647 7.86 51
~/ ~Beu of Animal Industry. Ei-cludes Gove~rnment slauhtCr in 1934.
Prices of new crop lambs in the spring and summer of 1939 will be
supported by a stronger consumer demand for meats, but the level of prices of
such lambs will depend partly upon supplies of new crop lambs and the supply
of yearlings carried over from the present marketing year. No indication
of the volume of marketing of new crop lambs in 1939 is possible at this
time, bht the number of yearlings marketed in the spring and summer of 1939
probably will be as large as or larger than the number marketed in the spring
and summer of 1938.

Production outlook

The trend in stock sheep numbers and in lamb and wool production was
sharply upward in all of the important producing areas from 1923 to 1931.
Since 1931 the number for the entire country has been fairly stable, but
rather important changes have occurred in some regions. There has been
little change in number of stock sheep in the Native Sheep States. But
in the Western Sheep States, excluding Texas, the trend in stock sheep
numbers since the peak year of 1931 has been distinctly downward. This
has been offset in part by the continued sharp increase in Texas which
brought the total in that State on January 1, 1938, to the highest point on
record. The total for the United States on January 1, 1938, was about 3.5
percent below the peak in 1934.

Although 1937 was the most favorable year that western sheep producers
have had since 1930, the downward trend in Aock sheep numbers in the Western
States, excluding Texas, continued through 1937; and on January 1, 1938, the
number was the smallest since 1927. Several factors were responsible for the
downward trend in numbers. Among these were the low prices of lambs and wool
during the depression years, the poor condition of ranges resulting from a
succession of years of short precipitation, and reductions, actual and
prospective, in the number of sheep permitted to graze on the public domain
and the national forests. It seems probable that this downward trend has
now run its course and that Janunry 1, 1938, was the low point. If weather


- 6 -









and range conditions are favorable during the next few years some increase in
numbers is likely. This increase will take place in the States where numbers
were reduced the most following the droughts of 1934 and 1936.

Number of stock sheep and lambs on farms in the United States and
specified regions, January 1, 1923 and January 1, 1931-38

:Western Sheep All Native United
Year :States, ex-: Texas : Western : Sheep : States
:cluding Texa : : States
SThousinds Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

1923 19,320 3,490 22,810 9,797 32,597

1931 : 27,252 6,749 34,001 13,719 47,720
1932 26,774 6,952 33,726 14,028 47,754
1933 25,878 7,444 33,322 14,002 47,324
1934 26,211 8,059 34,270 14,184 48,454
1935 25,265 *7,092 32,357 l',4277 46,634
1936 : 24,757 7,234 31,991 14,400 46,391
1937 : 24,199 8,750 32,949 14,102 47,051
1938 23,443 9,100 32,513 14,254 46,797


With the record numbers of sheep now in Texas, it is a question as tt
how much, if any, further increase can take place there. Barring severe droughts
and feed shortage, it seems probable that the upward trend may continue. There
has been a rather marked tendency for the area' of sheep production in that
State to expand in the last few years. This expansion is both northward and
westward from the main sheep region into other parts of the large pasture
areas of the State and also northeastward into the more strictly farming areas.
The reduction in cotton acreage and the increased production of feed crops
are factors that have contributed to this movement in some areas. It seems
probable that in most of these newer areas the production of market lambs will
be an increasingly important element in the industry. This will be reflected
in the increased use of mutton-type rams and an expansion in the production
of early lambs to be marketed in the spring months.

The abundant supplies of all kinds of feeds in the Corn Belt and other
Native Sheep States, and the low prices of feeds this fall will tend to en-
courage production of all kinds of livestock, including sheep.If a succession
of years of ample precipitation should follow the series of recent drought
years, and there is a permanent shift in acreage from soil depleting crops to
hay and grass, a moderate expansion in sheep numbers probably will result.

With some increase in stock sheep numbers in prospect in both the
Western and Native Sheep States, production of wool may be expected to reflect
this expansion. But the size of the lamb crop is materially affected by
weather and.feed conditions during the lambing season. Feed and weather condi-
tions in all of the principal lambing areas were unusually favorable during the
1939 season. Hence, the number of lambs produced this year may not be equaled
for several years, even though stock sheep numbers increase.


SLS-23


- 7 -






SLS-23


WOOL MITUATIO:: 1/

Domestic mill consumption of wool has increased considerably from the
low level of last spring and domestic wool prices have risen moderately since
June. In the first half of 1935 the spread between domestic and foreign
prices was considerably less than the tariff and imports of wool into the
United States were very small. But with the recent rise in domestic prices
the spread has widened and is now not much less than the tariff,

7ith stocks of manufactured goods remaining relatively small and with
prospects for an improvement in consumer demand next year, mill cc:sumption
of wool in 1939 may exceed that of 1938. This would be a supporting in-
fluence to domestic wool prices. But unless there is some rise in foreign
prices, advances in domestic prices of wool in the corning year will be limited.

Stocks of wool in the United States are larger than a year earlier*
During the remaining months of the 1938 domestic marketing season (to April 1,
1939), mill consumption of wool is likely to be considerably larger than in
the same months last year. If imports remain small, as now appears likely,
such an increase in consumption probably will result in smaller stocks of
wool in the United States on April 1, 1939, than at the beginning of the
current year.

Stocks of wool in most foreign countries except Japan apparently are
somewhat larger than a year earlier. Supplics of wool from the Southern
Hemisphere in 1938-39 are c:.:poctc- to be slightly larger than those of 1937-38
but about the same as average supplies for the 5 years 1932-33 to 1936-37.
A prospective decline in wool production in the Southern Hemisphere in 1938-39
is more than offset by the larger carry-over into the current season.

Thi weekly rate of mill consumption of a,-parol wool in the United
States in September was 15 percent lower than in August, but with the ex-
ception of August was higher than in any other month since August 1937. Con-
sumption on a grease basis in the first 9 months of 1933 was 27 p.-rccnt
smaller than in the same months last year.

Incrc-.cd trading in the Boston wool market in October was accompanied
by price advances of 1 to 2 cents per ;rc:.s: pound on most grades of wool.
Avcra.,e prices for ctibin' territory :'ools at Boston in October : re about
10 p.-rccnt above the low point in June, but wore about 25 percent lower than
a year earlier,

WTool prices advanced in Southern Hci.ioshcrec cllino centers in October,



L/ Fro:.. the Noveober 15 issue of the Dcemand and Price Situation. Fcr a more
detailed discussion, see the iLjve:.bcr issue of the vcjl Situation, copies
of which may be obtained from the Division of Eccn.-,nic Information, Bureau
of Agricultural Leorcnics, 7.-.shington, D. C.


- 8 -






SLS-23


Price per 100 pounds of sheep and lambs, by months,
August October, 1936-38


1 936 : 7 : 1938 __
Item : : : :
.Aug. .Sept.:Oct, .Aug. .Sept.:Oct. :Aug. :Sept.:Octo

:Dol Dol Dol. Dol. Dol, Dol. Dol. Dol. Dol.


Slaughter lambs, Chicago: :
Good and choice .......: 9D53
Common and medium ......: 7 20
Slaughter ewes, Chicago: :
Good and choice ........: 3.50
Common and medium .....: 2.25
Feed-ing lambs, Omaha:
Good and choice ........: 7.61
Average price paid by
packers:
Sheep and lambs ........: 8,29
Average price received by
farmers:
Sheep ..................: 3.69
Lambs ................: 7.59
Lamb, New York:
Wholesale carcass: 1/
Choice .............. :20.19
Good .................:18.79
Medium ..............:16.81
Pulled wool Boston: 2/
Choice AA ..,.........: 92.0
Choice White B ......: 76.2
Sheep pelts, packers
shearlings, Nol1,Chicago
each 3/ ................: 1.10


9.38 8.68
7.31 6.94


10.78
9.06


10.56 lo.08 8.46 8.05
8.56 8.34 7.12 .6.34


3.37 3.40 4.70 4.o4 -4.09
2.17 2.12 3.32 3o01 3.09


7.55 7.12 9.50


8.22 7.75 9.34


3.60
7.43


19.,20
18.00
16.39


3.52
7.25


16.71
15.92
14.99


4.52
3.64


20.86
19,15
16.90


9.60 9.13 7.32


9.46 8.74 7.62


4.35
8.57


21.80
20.52
18.66


92.0 92.5 106.5 103.7
77.0 76.2 88.5 85.8


4.30
8.42


19.95
18.95
17.86


8.24
6.42


3.50 3.36 3,36
2.62 2.50 2.48


7.11 7.37


7.29


3.40 3.38 3.36
6.59 6.46 6.37


17.74
17.02
15.10


16.96
16.10
14.38


96.5 73.5 73.5
79.2 60.5 60.5


16.82
16.10
14.38

78.5
62.1


1.02 1.03 125 1.31 1.24 .6o .0,61 0.65


1/ Choice and .ood, 33 pounds down; medium,
weights in 1938.
2/ Cents per pound.
3/ Bureau of Labor Statistics,


38 pounds down, 1935-37, all


- 9 -






-10 -


Supplies of sheep and lambs, specified periods

.. ..


Month


Item Unit Aver-ige
::124-33


: : : Oct. : pt :Ot
SOct..Sept.Oct.
: 1-.6 : 1937 :average : 19O ept.1938 ct.
: : 1924-33 : 9 938 1938


Sheep and lambs: *
Number slaughtered
under Federal :Thou-
inspection l/-....: sand : 14,737 17,.21 17,270 1,417 1,530 1,694 1,638
Receipts at seven
markets 2/ *......: do :,/15,241 11, 92 11,470 3/2,147 1,546 1,629 1,512

: Year : Ionth


.Average
1924-33


S: Sept. Set.Aug.
: 1936 : 1937 :avoraee :197
:* : :1924-33 1937 1


"Cept,
'1938


Slaughter under
Federal inspection
Lambs and yearlings- Thou-
Number slaughtered : sands
Percentage of total
sheep and lambs...*:Percent:
Sheep: : Thou- :
Lumber slaughtered : sands :
Percentage of total :
sheep and lambs,..,:Percent:
Sheen and lambs:
Av': rage -live -wight :Pound
Average dreszsc l I : do
Total dressed :Millb.:


13,678 15,647.15,912


92.8


1,274


1,524 1,485 1,584


90. 92.1 "2.3 91.2 92.6


1,059 1,569 1,353


7.2

81
39
569


S106


9.1 7.9 7.7


147 118


93.5

110


8.8 7.4 6.5


85
40
680


/ Bureau of Animal ir.dustry. .
2/ Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City and St. Paul*
/ Av-rasge 1929-33.


SLS-23


UNVIERSITY OF FLORIDA
lllllllII I I 111ll 1121 0l llll 11
3 1262 08861 5207




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