The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that the total sheep and lamb inventory on Jan. 1 was down 2 percent compared to the same period one year ago. This is in contrast to predictions made by some analysts that the inventory would be up about 1.5 percent.
The national lamb crop was also reported to be down 2 percent. Sheep and lambs shorn were down 1 percent.
Drought and spring storms once again caused pre- and post-natal lamb loses in some areas. There are bright spots in the report, several Eastern and Midwestern states increased their sheep inventories as well as Idaho and Texas that reported 6-percent increases.
To read the entire report go to http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/SheeGoat/SheeGoat-01-31-2014.pdf.