Sheep, goat inventories down on year
There were fewer sheep and goats in the U.S. at the start of 2023.
The USDA says the sheep and lamb inventory on January 1st of this year was 1% smaller than on January 1st of last year at 5.02 million head. The market herd was unchanged at 1.36 million head while the breeding herd was 1% lower at 3.67 million head and the lamb crop was down 2% to 3.11 million head, pointing to at least some further contraction in the industry.
Shorn wool production saw a decline of 1% and the value of that wool dropped 11% to $33.9 million.
The U.S. goat herd was 2% lower at 2.51 million head with market goats and kids down 1% at 451,000 head, the breeding inventory 2% below a year ago at 2.06 million head, and the kid crop 1% smaller at 1.58 million head.
The meat goat herd was 1% lower at 2 million head, the milk goat inventory was down 2% at 400,000 head, and Angora goats fell 3% to 107,000 head.
Mohair production was under last year due to fewer goats being clipped, but the price per pound and total value were higher, at $6.35 per pound and $3.3 million, respectively.