The sheep and lamb situation


Material Information

The sheep and lamb situation
Physical Description:
30 no. : ; 28 cm.
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


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


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).

Record Information

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

Related Items

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

Full Text

Bureau of Agricultural Economics

January 20, 1939




The number of sheep and lambs on feed for market in the principal

feeding States on January 1 totaled about 5,700,000 head, 5 percent

smaller tnan a year earlier but somewhat larger than the average for the

5 years 1933-37, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics reports. The in-

dicated decisase from a year earlier was 4 percent in the Corn Belt

States anid S percent in the Western Sheep States.

Slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs during the remainder of the

fed-lamb marl:etifig season (through April) are expected to be smaller than

in the corresponding period last year, when such supplies were of near

record proportion.. Not only will supplies of fed lanibs be smaller, but

it is probable that supplies of grass-fat yearling lambs and of early

spring lamb in Texas also will be smaller, unless further rains bring

much nco dcd improvement in grazing conditions in that State. Drought

in Texas vwas soncwhat relieved by rains in late December and early

January, but conditions there are still rather unfavorable for sheep and

lamb production.

Consumer income and the demand for meats in early January were

stronger than at the same time last year, reflecting the improvement in

business activity since last summer. present indications are that demand

will be well maintained during. the first half of 1939, with some fur-

thor imrovmnt not unliklyFL L
thor improvement not unlikely. DOCUMENTS DE



SLS-2 5


L mb ricoc higher than year earlier

Prices of slaughter lambs at the beinnin, of the fod-lamb markot-
ing season in early DeceCbL,or woro slightly higher than those of the
corrcs,:-onlin, period a year oarlior. Lamb prices fluctuated to some
extent in Lcc iber and early January, but did not change greatly during
this period. For the week endod January 7, prices of good d and hoic
slaughter lambs at Chicago aver-ged about $8.90 per 100 pounds, approxi-
mately 50 cents higher than a year earlier. Consumer dcm:nd for meats
was stronger and slaughter supplies of shop and lanmbs wore smaller than
at the same time last year.

A year ago, lamb prices declined sharply during December and January,
largely because of the marked weakness in the dtm-and for moats. Since
midsumaoir last year, however, consumer income and the demand fbr moats have
*trcnjthened considerably, reflecting the improvement in business activity.

glZ -iLtcyr supplies reduced in December

Slan.uiter supplies of sheep and lambs decreased seasonally from lato
October through 1;ovmber. And in Doecomber, in-pected slaughter totaled
only 1,347,000 head, 7 percent loss than in I'vorfocr and 4 percent less
than in ccr 1937. Dccn Lbcr was the firct month in the current market-
ing year (May-April) in which slaughter was smaller than that of a year

The lamib crop in 1938 was 5 percent lrgr th thnthat of 1937 and
was the largeOst on record. And inspect-d slaughter of sheep and lambs dur-
ing the mra:o-lanb marketing season (May-November) was 7 percent larger
than in the cor~c.~oing period of 1937,

Fewer shoeo and 1 lr.,ba on food than year earlier

Thi. number of cl.cop: and lam s on feed January 1 in the principal
fc.iin; 3t:-.t s was about 5 ;.crcnLt smaller th then number on fe:d January
1 last ycor. The estimated number on feed at the bci:niing of this y-nr
was 5,7'v ,',0C head conF-p:rcd with 5,997,000 head, the revised estimate for
January 1, 1^, and with 5,558,000 head the 5-year (1933-37) average.

The number on focd this yoar was smaller than last in both the Corn
Bolt and Wostorn States. In the Corn Bolt, the estimated number on feed
January 1 was 3,087,C00 head, compared with 3,207,000 nInd a year ctrlier,
a decrease of about 4 percent. The nu..bLr on food in the Eastern Corn
B.-lt was down from last by 130,t:,. head. Tho number on food in the
"st-.rn Corn Belt was a little lr,;.r at the bel iniin:, of this yoar than
last, '.ith increases in Missouri and Kansas more than offsetting decreases
in South D:.kota and Nebraska, and with no change in Iowa and Iinnesota.
The decrease in Ncbraska was a result of the decrease in the Scottsbluff
area, where the number was down about 75,000 head; the number on feed
increased in other areas of Nobraska. The increase in Kansas occurred in

- 2 -

SLS-25 -3 -

the number on wheat pastures, but because of the heavy movement from these
pastures in late December the actual number remaining in the State on
January 1 was somewhat uncertain.

The estimated nt ber of sheep and lambs on feed January 1 in the
Western States (including North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma) was 2,568,000
compared with 2,740,000 on January 1 last year, a decrease of about 6
percent.. The largest decreases were in Colorado and Utah. Of the other
important western feeding States, Montana, Wyoming and California had
larger numbers on feed this year than last, while Idaho, Oregon and Texas
had smaller numbers.

As was the rase a year'ago, a much larger-than-usual proportion of
the lambs on feed January 1 were Texas lambs. The number of Texas lambs
billed to points outside of Texas other than public stockyards during the
last half of 1938 totaled nearly 200,000 head more than in the last half
of 1937, and was much the largest on record. Shipments of feeder lambs
from stockyards into the Corn Belt in December this year were consider-
ably larger than in December 1937, and the total movement for the 6 months
July through December was about 2 percent larger this year than last.

Sheep and lambson feed, by States, January 1, 1935-1939 L/

State 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939

: Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands
N.Y. ............:. : o 0 50 50 45
Ohio ...........: 280 285 300 345 324
Ind. .....,......: 170 225 230 295 206
Ill. ............: 301 267 260 290 295
Mich. ...........: 150 240 260 286 257
Wis. .. ... : 81 90 78 78 82
Minn. .......... 350 260 340 285 285
Iowa .........: 750 460 340 470 470
Mo. ............,: 110 140 115 120 144
S. Dak. .........: 130 225 130 193 183
Nebr ...........: 530 780 450 585 555
Kans. *..........: 460 220 215 260 286
Total Corn Belt :3,312 3,192 2,718 3,207 3,087
N. Dak. .........: 30 105 0 70 0 63
Okla. ...........: 175 45 55 85 98
Tex. ,..........: 60 125 170 220 210
Mont. ..........: 155 135 150 190 200
Idaho ...........: 200 170 285 225 210
Wyo. ............* 155 180 250 238 245
Colo. ...........: 1,085 1,250 1,030 1,185 1,090
N. Mex. ........: 38 39 66 70 65
Ariz. ...........: 22 15 15 10 9
Utah ............: 83 120 295 240 144
Nev. ............: 11 13 20 7 12
Wash. ,o.........: 54 32 51 35 41
Oreg. ...........: 75 45 100 75 60
Calif. ..........: 106 115 212 90 121
Total Western : ,249 2,389 2,769 2,740 2,568
Total U.S. ..... 5 611 5,631 5,337 5,997 5,700
1/ Includes sheep and lambs on feed in commercial feed lots*


Condition of western sheen jood to excellent exce t in Texas

The condition of sheep at the b;;inning of 1939 was good to excellent
over most of the western sheep area, c-:ccpt in Texas. In the main sheep
area of Texas, the shortage of old feed and the lack of now feed resulting
from dro. ,t conditions somewhat relieved by rains in late L.:.-c'.bcr and
early January were reflected in the condition of the sheep, despite the
rather .;rn.ral feeding of concentrates.

"..'iLt..r and feed conditions in the late laibing areas of the Western
States d.lurir, the breodin; season were e'L.orally favorable. E;es in the
early lambing areas are in good condition. November and DIecember lambs in
California are a good start, with green feed supplies generally avail-
able; but early winter lambs in Texas are not doing well. Lambs in western
feed lots made good gains during December.


Slaughter supplies smaller, demand stronger than a year earlier

In view of the smaller number of sheep and lambs on.feed January 1
this year than last, total slaughter of sheep and lambs during the remainder
of the fed-lamb marketing season (through April) is likely to be somewhat
smaller than a year earlier, when such slaughter was of near record propor-
tion. In addition to the decrease in marketing of fed lambs, some decrease
in marketing of grass-fat yc:.rling lambs and early spring lambs from Texas
also is likely, unless t'ih feed situation in Texas is materially improved by
rainfall during, the next 2 months.

Lamb markctings after May 1 will depend largely on the outturn of the
spring lamb crop. Although conditions in early January were favorable for
the spring lamb crop in most 3tat.s, it is not probable that conditions
throughout the winter and early spring will remain as generally favorable
as they were last year, when the total lamb crop was the largest on record.
Conditions now are unfavorable for the early spring lamb crop in Texas. If
-razing conditions improve in that State by early spring, however, it is
possible that the number of grass-fat shorn y-arling labs marketed from
Texas during, the spring may be as large as or larger than the number market-
ed a year earlier.

Smaller slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs during the next 2 or 3
months than those of a year earlier will be a factor tending to support
prices of fed lambs. Consunor demand for moats also will be stronger during
this period than a year earlier. Last year, consumer demand weakened
throughoutt the winter and sprir., months, reflecting the downward trend in
business activity and in consuaor inconcs. Since last year, the
trend in business activity in this country has boon generally upward. And
in early January consumer incomes and the demand for meats were stronger than
in early January last year. Present indications are that income and the
doi7nd for n.eats will be well maintained during the first half of 1939,'
with some further inprovcrcnt not unlikely.

- 4 -

SLS-25 -5 -


Following some weakness in prices in December, an increase in wool
sales at Boston was accompanied by higher prices for many grades of domestic
wool in the first week qf January. The decline in prices in the domestic
market in December was accompanied by declines in foreign markets, and the
spread between-Boston and London prices for December showed little change
from the previous month. The United States average price received by
farmers for wool on December .15 was 20.2 cents a pound compared with 20.5
cents on Nove:.ber 15'and 23.6 cents on December 15, 1937.

The weekly average rate of mill consumption of apparel wool in the
United States in November was about 20 percent higher than in October and
was the highest for any month since March 1937. Because of the low rate
of consumption in the early months of the year, consumption on a scoured
basis for the first 11 :.'iiths of 1936 was 20 percent smaller than in the
same months of 1937. Mill sales of men's wear fabrics for the spring season
are reported to be much -larger than a year earlier, and mill activity is
expected to continue at a relatively high level in. the early months of 1939.

In view of the continued improvement in domestic mill consumption it
appears, rather certain that stocks of raw wool in the United States at the
opening of the 1939 season in April will be smaller than a year earlier.
A-c6nsiderable quantity of domestic wool held at the present time is
covered by Federal Government loans.

On December 1, apparent supplies of wool in .the five principal export-
ing countries of the Southern Hemisphere were estimated to be about 2 per-
cent smaller than a year earlier and also 2 percent smaller than the
December 1 average supplies in the 5 years 1932-36... The relatively large
carry-over into the current season in the Southern Hemisphere has been
offset by the decline in production in Australia and by larger exports.
Mill consumption has improved in some European countries in recent months,
and the outlook for disposal of the current clip in the Southern Hemisphere
is more favorable than at the beginning of the season in July.

_/ From the January issue of the Demand and Price Situation. For a more
detailed discussion see the January issue of the Wool Situation, copies
of which may be obtained from the Division of Economic Information,Bureau
of.Agricultural Economics, Washington, D. C.


trice per 100 pc-nds of she- and lambs, by months,
October-December, 1936-38

: 196 : 1937 : 1938
Item : Oct. INov.: Dec.' Oct.: loV.' Dec.o Oct.: Iov.: Dec.

:Dol. Dol. Dol. Dol. Lol. Dol. Dol. Dol. Dol.

Slaughter lambs, Chicgo: :
Good and choice ........: 8.68
Common and medium .....: 6.94
Slauighter ewes% Chicago:
Good and choice ........: 3.40
Conwmon and medium *.....: 2.12
'eeding lambs, Omaha:
Good and choice ........: 7.12
Average price paid by
Sheep and laiLbs ........: 7.75
\;v'rac price received by
Sheep ...........3.....: 3.52
Lambs .....72.......... : 7.25
Lamb, New York:
'.hclesale carcass: i_/
Choice ...............:16.71
Good .................:15.92
.Medium .............. :14.99
Fulled wool, Boston: 2/
Choice AA ............: 92.5
Choice White B ......: 76.2
She -,s pelts, packers
shi.crrlins,, I:o.l, Chicago,
each 3/ ................: 1.03

8.90 8.87 10.08
7.15 7.26 8.34



8.70 8.24 8.C4 9.C2
6.98 6.42 6.76 6.92

4.10 4.09 3.99 3.85 3.36 3.81 40o6
2.78 3.09 2.84 2.97 2.48 2.80 2.91

7.06 7.14 9.13




8.19 8.74 8.55



4.30 3.95
8.42 7.87


99.4 107.6 96.5
83.1 95.1 79.2


3.70 7.95 7.37 7.84 8.07

8.18 7.28 7.90



88.9 79.9
71.9 61.5



3.53 3.69
6.32 7.08


78.5 82.7
62.1 64.9



1.02 1.32 1.24 0.94 0.68 0.65 0.73 0.72

/ For choice and Lood, 38 pounds do n; for medium, 38 pouds do.:n in 1936 and
1937, and all wji-hts in 1938.
2/ Cents per pourl.
3/ Bur;-u of Labor Statistics,


Average : 1937
1924 -33

: Month
Dec.: eov.:Dec.
: 1938:average :
:1924-33 :1937 :1938 :1938
:1924-33 :

Sheep and lambs:
Number slaughtered
under Federal
inspection 1/....
Receipts at seven
markets 2/ .........

Slau 5ht.3r under
Federal inspection
Lambs and yearlings-
1umber slaughtered
Percentage of total
sheep and lambs
Number slaughtered
Percentage of total
sheep and lambs
Sheep and lambs:
Average live weight
Average dressed "
Total dressed "

..: scnds

..: do


: Thou-



14,737 17,270 18,060 1,202 1,403 1,453 1,347

3/15,241 11,470 11,783 3/1,060 717



: 1936

13,678 15,647 15,912

92.8 90.9 92.1

1,059 1,569 1,358



9.1 7.9

814 718

: i'onth

1937 :average: Ncv. Cct.: Nov.
:1924-33:1937 :1938 :1938

1,P96 1,201 1,518 1,353

92.6 90.9 92.7 93.1

88 121 119

7.4 9.1

7.3 6.9

/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
/..Chicago, Kansas City, OCaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City, and St. Paul.
/ Average 1929-33.

7 -

Supplies of sheep and lambs, specified periods





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