Sheep Industry Releases New Best Practices

Lizzy SchultzAg Group, Lamb, Production, Sheep

Lamb_Resource_Center The 2016 Sheep Industry Convention introduced lamb producers to the industry’s first set of Productivity Best Practices.

The new list of Best Practices to Increase Lamb Crop were developed by sheep producers and production experts with the intent to give sheep producers more control over price volatility, as Lambs sold per ewe is the biggest influence on profitability.

Best practices are a cornerstone of many industries, working as guides to help producers and processors achieve a desired result. The lamb industry’s set of Productivity Best Practices identify ways to produce more with comparable resources, which is a critical component of profitability.

“Because they are based on both time-tested practical experience and research, the Best Practices to Increase Your Lamb Crop are reliable, worthwhile actions for U.S. sheep producers. Best practices help you find ways to be more efficient and allow you to take more control of your flock’s productivity, actions you can take now to protect against price volatility,” says Reid Redden, Ph.D., who chaired the team charged with developing the best practices.

Efforts to develop the lamb crop best practices were supported by the American Lamb Board, which administers the lamb checkoff. The American Lamb Board supported this project in collaboration with other industry groups, including the American Sheep Industry Association‘s “Let’s Grow” program.

This information is part of the new US Lamb Resource Center website, funded by the national lamb checkoff program to support the efforts of the entire industry. The Resource Center pulls together important information from major sheep organizations into one central location, focusing on topics related to lamb checkoff, industry and market news, marketing, Productivity Best Practices, and other production resources.

“The long-term vision is to increase demand and profitability for the entire U.S. lamb industry,” says Wes Patton, a California sheep producer who chairs the American Lamb Board. “As demand is increased over time, we want more American Lamb on more consumers’ plates. That involves improving consistency and quality, while increasing productivity and reducing costs of production. By using best practices, the U.S. lamb industry can implement change that leads to increased demand and profitability.”

While there is significant variation between sheep production practices in the US, there are lamb crop best practices that will benefit every flock, and most sheep producers are able to identify at least three of the 12 best practices that will help them gain efficiency and improve profitability.

“Our team recognizes that some of the lamb crop best practices mean challenging the status quo. Yet, that is what is required to take action so the U.S. lamb industry can be more competitive,” Redden says.