A top priority of the American Sheep Industry Association continues to be the resolution of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting rules and regulations. In addition to filing comments on behalf of the industry for updated changes proposed by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, ASI has been meeting with market news on the absence of key-lamb reports since early February.
“The lack of formula carcass price reporting places the sheep industry in a blind position with regard to lamb trades based upon quality,” said ASI President Burton Pfliger in a follow-up letter. “Since the Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb plan of insurance also uses this data, the lack of reporting a formula carcass series means that LRP-Lamb, the only price risk management tool available to the sheep industry, can’t be sold nor can those who purchased the insurance receive an accurate indemnity.”
Lamb price reporting has been absent since the purchase of one lamb-processor by another this winter. The issue at hand centers on the inability for one the largest lamb processors to share public data because it operates as a cooperative. Company principles on the call shared their business model with AMS and indicated their interest in cooperating with the reporting program.
In summary, the industry requested that AMS use a more literal interpretation of “packer-owned” lambs, using the regulatory definition for lamb reporting, and allow the processor to participate in the reporting program.