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

SLS-? September 21, 1937



There has been little change in the outlook for sheep and lambs

during the past month, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics reports. Prices

of lambs are expected to continue near present levels during the next few

months. Although marketing of lambs will be seaso;r ily larger this fall

than in the past summer, the effect on prices of the increased marke-tings will

be largely offset by the prospective strong demand for feeder lambs in the

Corn Belt. Prices of feeder lambs probably will continue high relative to

prices for slaughter lambs during the fall months.

Marketings of sheep and lambs from'the 13 Western States during the

period August through December this year are expected to be about 2 percent

smaller than a year earlier. Eost of the decrease probably will be in the

number of owes marketed, with the numrrir of la;::bs marketed being little

different this fall from that of tha fall of 1936.

With much larger feed crops this year than last, the number of lambs

fed in the Corn Belt this fall and winter is likely to be larger than the small

number fed in that area in 1936-37. The number of lambs fed in the Western

States may be little different from that of a year earlier.

Prices ot slaughter lambs were steady to slightly lower during Aull2st

and .early Sept.ember, but an advance in prices occurred during the week ended

September 18. Inspected slaughter of sheep and lambs in .igust was seas.un.Flly
larger than in July and it also was larger than in August a year earlier.

IIe nFPPnI Tr nC



EACi.GROCIND.- Prices of Good and Choice spring lambs
at middle western markets at the b.g-innin of the
season in early April range! from $12 to $12.75, or
from $1.50 to $2 higher than a year earlier. After
continuing near this level from late April to early
June, prices of spring lambs declined seasonally
during the last half of June and the first half of
July. The avri_;e price of Good and Choice lambs at
Cfnlciao for July was $10.84 compared with $9.94 in
July last year. This was the highest average forthe
month since 1929.

Lamb prices steady to slightly lower in August

The average price of Good and Choice la.-bs per 100 our. isat Chicago
for August was $10.78, slightly lower than for July but $1.25 higher than
for August 1936. After declining in the week ended September 11, prices
advanced durir,g the following week, and about mid-September the average
price of Good and Choice lambs was slightly hih -. r than for t he month of
August. Prices of feeder lambs in .'.-ust and early September were high
relative to prices for slaughter kinds. At Omaha and rr.ver, prices of
feeder lambs in August were from $1.50 to $2 higher than a year earlier,
with the spread between prices of feeder and slaughter lambs about half
that of the same period in 1936. Prices of slaughter ewes declined during
August and in early September. Although an unusually lIrge portion of
western lambs were contracted by mid-.Atugust, there were some further
contracting of lambs in Utah and ".'ycm.ig in latJ August at firm to slightly
higher prices.

3'. lies show seasonal increase

Slaughter of sh,.- and labs under Feder:l inspection in A-ust,
totaling 1,500,000 head, was 8 percent l:rrer than in July and 7 percent
larger than in August 1936. Receipts of native lambs at Corn
Belt markets during Aiugst and in early .3r'. ember, but range lambs, mostly
from -asti.hiiton, Idaho, and Colorado coli.prised the bulk of the supply.
Western lambs received at markets in .'cust were in good flesh, and average
weights and dressing yields weir re .crted to be greater than those of last

Condition of western sheoo and lapibs good

RKnre sheep and labs generally were in very good condition in early
September. sheep ranges have been very good. Hay and feed crops
are reported good west of the Main Rians and winter ranges in this area have
a good supply of feed. Some lower r-.iinge in, Idaho, Utah,
Nevada, and Arizona, however, are reported dryir^. In California pastures
are ccrd in the southern half of thu S-t-te, but conditions in central and
northwestern areas are below normal. hay sirplics in that State would be
inadequate for another severe winter. rntermountain r-ngcs generally are in


sufficiently good condition to insure food until lambs are marketed. The
mountain and foothill sections cast of the Main Range have very good feed.
In sections of the Great Plains area of LMontana, North Dakota, South Dakota,
and Nebraska food conditions arc poor, however, Texas sheep r-nr : have good
dry food, except the south side of sheep section, where range feed is short.


6ACKGROUt'D .- The following conclusions were
given in the August issue of The Shooe and
Lamb Situation with respect to the outlook for
supplies and prices of lambs:

(1) Pricus of slaughter lambs are not
expected to ch~ire much from August through
(2) Supplies of lambs will increase
seasonally in this period, but total slaughter
supplies in the fall months may be smaller or
at least no larger than the total for a year
(3) Prices of feeder lambs this fall
will probably be high in relation to prices of
slaughter lambs.
(4) Although some increase in lamb
feeding now appears likely, total supplies of
sheep and lambs in the c;!.inL fed-lamb marketing
season (December April, 1937-33) may be no
larger than a year earlier. Marketings of
sheep and lambs from sources other than feed
lots may be smaller next winter and spring than
(5) Lamb prices in the rc', fed-lamb
narkcting season (Deccober to ..pril 1937-33)
probably will average about as high as those of
last year, if consumer demand for Lme:ts and
prices of wool are maintained near pi sent levels.

Little clhin'g.: in outlook

The outlook has changed little since the August issue of this publication,
w',s released. Prices of lambs are expected to continue near present levels
during the next few months. The effect of the probable seasonal increase in
total marketing on 'prices .f sheep and la;-bs this fall is likely to be abrut
-*ffset by the strong demand for feeder lambs in prospect. Although total
ul:.rketings of sheep and la-Tbs during the remainder of the grass laub i,-.r-k.rting
season (up to Decomber) may be as large as or .r-:er than in corresponding
period of 1936, the larger feed crops this year will result in an increased
number of lambs going to feed lots this fall and winter. Consequently, the
slaughter supply of sheep and lar:bs this fall probably will be no larger ard
mr.iay be smalle- than a year earlier.


-'.*"ct fall marI:-tirn-s of western lambs about same as in 1936

.irketings of sheep and lambs from the 13 western States, August to
December tnis yar, are expected to be about 2 percent smaller than for the
comparable period in 1936. IMost of the decrease is expected to be in the
nrir:.:t-r of ewes marketed, with the number cf lambs little different this year
from last. Shipments of western lambs up to August 1 were only a little
smaller than those for the corresponding period in 1936. The much larger
marketing :'s of early lambs from Te.:s this year about offset the smaller
marketing of early lambs from California and the decreased shipments from
Montana and South Dakota where forced a hea'.'v, movement before
..t 1 last These estimates are based upon indicated shipments
,':ino outside the State where the lambs were raised.

As a result of generally favorable r:nr- conditions in nearly all of
the western sh.ep areas from which the supply of western lambs marketed after
August 1 will come this year, the condition of the lambs is expected to
average somewhat better this '.r than last, with a smaller proportion of
light v:oei:'ht feeder lambs. Contractir- of fueder lambs for fall delivery
has been on a relatively large scale this year, and the number und-r
contract by A.-u-t 1 was the largest in several years. The number of lambs
to be fed in these States next winter is expected to be little different
from the number fed a year earlier, but the number fed in the States whore
raised will probably be somewhat smaller.

Increased lamb feeding expected in the Corn Belt

.ith much larger feed crops this year thai last in the Corn Belt,
it seems probable that the number of lambs fed in that region in coming fall
and winter will be larger than a year earlier. CO January 1, 1937, the
number of lambs on feed in the Corn Bolt States was smaller than for several
years because of the very short fsed --.;plies occasioned by the 193: drought.
ir.: the number of lambs fed in the 7'estern States in 1937-38 may be little.
different from that of earlier, the total number of lambs fed next fall
and winter -robably will be larger than a :,'.-r earlier. But as indicated in
the August report, the supply of sheep and lambs marketed from sources other
than feed lots may be smaller in the 1937-38 fed lamb marketing season
-:c.:.'. r April) than a year earlier. Total slaughter sa.p:l'ies of sheep
and lambs in the 1937-35 fed-lamb season, therefore, may be little different
from those of the 19> -37 season.

SLS-9 -5-


The domestic wool situation has not changed materially in the
past month. Trading in the domestic market was light in August but
prices remained firm. The domestic price outlook for the next few
months is somewhat uncertain because oi the recent weakness in foreign
markets. But with supplies in the United States and foreign countries
below average, little change is expected in domestic prices in t he
remainder of 1937.

The outlook for the new selling season in the Southern Hemisphere
is uncertain at the present time because of the possibility that Japan
nmly not be as active in the wool market as had been expected. The
season opened at Sydney, Australia on August 30. Prices at the opening
were slightly higher than at the close of the previous season in June
and were 20 to 25 percent above the opening prices of the 1936-37 season,
but prices declined as the sales progressed.

Consumption of apparel wool by United States mills declined
further in July and it was 17 percent siinllur th,'i that of July last
year. Total mill consumption on a scoured basis i-r the first 7 months
of this year, however, was 11 percent larger 'thai in the same period
of 1936. Although a seasonal increase in consumption is expected in
the next few months, mill consumption in the remainder of 1937 is not
likely to be so larg'o as in the same months of 1936.

World supplies of wool in 1937-30 are likely to be about the
same as last season when they were blow 'average. There has been some
tendency for mill conscr.j4tion of wool in several foreign countries to
decline in recent months, but in most coUntries it is still relatively

1/ From the Demand and Price Situation, a monthly report of the Bureau
of Agricultural Economics.


SYar : Month

n: it Av.r-ae : 1935 1 6 avage Aug. July :Aug.
1924-33 1 :1936 1937 1937

Inspected slaughter 1/ : thou- :
Sheep and lambs ....: sands : 14,737 17,644 17,216
Receipts at seven
markets 2/...........: :3/15,241 12,312 11,C?2

1,297 1,395 1,390 1,478

3/1,305 1,030 6?2 1,158

Year : Month
: July
Average : J July :June
:1924-33 : 1935 : 1936 :'r :1936 :1937

I::.p ected s1.jght or:
Lambs and yearlings-: thou-
Number .........: sands
FPrceo'.--e of total
3?:c, and lambs..:percent:
,'-' : thou-
Number ...........: sands
Percentage of total
sheep and l1mbs..:percent:

Average live .:i-ht....:;por.d
Average dressed wci-.t : :
Total dressed weight...;

13,673 16,400 15,647

92.8 93.0 90.9

1,059 1,244 1,569




1,146 1,229 1,322 1,308

93.9 90.9 92.7 94.0

74 123 1'4 83

6.1 9.1 7.3 6.:'

79 7-
37 38
50 .54

1/ -r au of Animal Industry.
2/ 'r.ic- o, Kasnsas 7ity, Ocrha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux Cit:,, and St. Paul.
3/ .-. cr. 1929-33.


ZupAiies of sheep and lambs, year 1936 and August 1937, with comparisons


~- --- ----


Price'per 100 pounds of sheep and lambs, by months, June August,


: 1935 : 1936 1937

Juno :July : Aug. June :July 'Aug. :June July Aug.

:Dolls:Dol Is:Dolls:Dolls Dol ls :Dolls Dolls:DoliIs:Dolls.

Lambs, Chicago 1/ :
Good and Choice .......: 8.56
Common and Liedium .....: ---
Ewes, Chicago:
Good and Choice .......: 2.82
Common and Medium .....: 1.86
Feeding lambs, Omaha:
Good and Choice .......: ---
Average price paid by
oh.L:e and lambs .......: 7.46
Average price received
by farmers:
Sh:~p .................: 3.64
Lambs ................ 6.52
Lamb, :I wv York:
Wholesale carcass 2 :
Choice ............... :17.5
Good ................. :16.85
Medium ...............:15.80
Retail, composite price -:
Good .................. :24.54
Pulled wool, Boston 3/ :
Choice AA ........... :78.6
Choice White B ....... :67.0
3Sh:-ep pelts, packers
shearlings, No. 1,
each 4/ ............... :0.57

7.96 8.68 11.44
6.41 7.24 9.32

9.94 9.53 11.94 10.84 10.78
7.72 7.20 10.42 9.15 9.06

2.92 3.20 3.45 3.83 3.50 3.78 4.22 4.70
2.05 2.35 2.28 2.47 2.25 2.30 2.86 3.32

6.63 7.85 3.60- 7.76 7.61 8.53 8.80 9.50

7.52 7.65 9.66

8.69 8.29 9.95

3.50 3.56 4.03 4.00 3.69
6.26 6.47 8.33 7.94 7.59







4.52 4.53
8.88 6.50





23.61 23.68 28.54 28.20 27.19 27.72 27.76 28.15

00.5 00.5 93.1
70.0 70.1 78.1

92.8 92.0
77.6 76.2

107.5 106.9 106.5
91.2 89.6 88.5

0.56 0.56 1.12 1.14 1.10 1.39 1.24 1.25

1/, Spring lambs, June 1935-37.
' 38 pounds down.
3' Cents per pound.
4' Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Iillii3 1262 08861
3 1262 08861 4929