SHEEP INDUSTRY FACING ‘PERFECT STORM’ OF HIGH PRICES & SHRINKING SUPPLY

GAYLE SMITH

With the world’s supply of sheep and wool nearly depleted, the sheep industry in the U.S. is seeing record prices, said a lamb feeder and range sheep producer from Kaycee, WY. Bob Harlan, who has been a long-time western states sheep and lamb buyer, discussed opportunities in the sheep industry during the 2011 Cattlemen’s Conference in Douglas, WY, last week. 

Harlan calls the current situation of the sheep market “the perfect storm.”

 “In the sheep industry, you must first look at the current world supply of sheep,” he explained. “Australia has been in an extended drought, and in a shrinking supply situation has slaughtered many of its replacements. The supply in Australia is 50 percent of what it was 10 years ago. There is nothing left to slaughter there,” he added.

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