Midwest sheep and goat report for the week of October 23rd

Midwest sheep and goat report for the week of October 23rd
RRN Photo.
October 23rd, 2021 | Clay Patton

Bull Tackle Feed in Lexington Nebraska sponsors this weekly report. Neal said he has fresh feed in and ready for you. If you’re weaning calves or wanting livestock in good shape before winter talk to Neal for products currently on hand. 


For the week ending October 23rd  the Midwest sheep and goat market was….. You guessed it, steady with both higher and lower undertones. This marks another week where prices really haven’t moved all that much. If you comb through the individual sale receipts you can find outliers that were higher and lower, but nothing that would indicate a trend. Again feeder lambs were popular in Colorado. South Dakota though saw lower prices and feeders and slaughter lambs. The hair lamb market heated up in Iowa with Kalona reporting the 60-80lbs hair lambs were $10-$13 higher. Demand continues to be good or improving in sale barns. This would all seem to indicate that the market is priming itself for another run up this winter following seasonal patterns. Retail demand finally jumped higher this week you can see that data a little ruther down. The biggest threat to our steady and strong market currently is inflation as it continues to impact the average individual. Especially when it comes to food and fuel. Crude oil prices continue above $80 and on 7 year highs. That is causing pain at the pump and it’s coming at a time when people are starting to make holiday plans. Thanksgiving and Christmas can be good times for meat when people want to celebrate and feed large gatherings. However if the choice comes between holiday travel and their favorite meal travel may win out and a cheaper protein substituted in its place. Currently that’s not happening as wages rise with inflation and people are willing to pay for their favorite meat. Time will be the indicator to see if this impacts the market or passes with strong prices. 

Ethnic holidays we now have the Prophet’s Birthday behind us and it didn’t appear to drive too much ethnic demand. Next we have Thanksgiving in November then Hanukkah in December and Christmas. Looking into 2022 Ramadan month of fasting is set for April 2nd through May 1st. 

Last week’s USDA retail data had the pop in demand that we have been waiting for, after coiling lower the spring released and moved sharply higher.  For the week ending October 15th, the USDA lamb cuts  retail activity index increased by 419.54% compared to the previous week. The roasts decreased by 28.57% while chops ad space in the circular were sharply higher. Shoulder Blade Chops, Shoulder Round Bone Chops and Rack were the most widely featured items among the Lamb features as prices were mixed. This week USDA also recalled imported lamb. On Thursday USDA announced that AFFCO USA, in Jacksonville, Fla.,  recalled approximately 24,461 pounds of frozen raw lamb shoulder products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States. The lamb was imported in Mid July to be shipped to distributors in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania for further distribution to retailers. There have been no adverse cases or health issues reported because of the lamb according to USDA. 

 Other commodity markets were mixed to higher this week. Outside market influences like inflation concerns and foreign currency moves are keeping grain traders on their toes. US harvest is quickly moving along with friendly weather in the near term to try and finish as many acres as possible. South America is quickly planting their next crop of corn and soybeans. There is a problem quickly rising to the top that could put pressure on supplies for livestock feeders. That is fertilizer and it is becoming more expensive by the day. China has taken steps to limit how much fertilizer they export in the coming year taking a stance of ensuring they have plenty to use in their own country. Russia also announced this week that they will be curbing some fertilizer exports to ensure domestic supply. Prices are likely to continue higher and could cause less to be used in the coming growing year. That in turn would mean smaller yields and possible tighter stocks. 

Other feed input markets to report include the hay market. Kansas and Nebraska hay markets reported mixed to steady prices this week. Movement in Kansas is still slow with harvest in full swing. Nebraska is noting increased movement of hay and feedlots are paying nearly $1.50 more for ground and delivered alfalfa. There is still an expected jump in prices this winter as hay farmers look to try and offset increasing fuel and input prices. For ranchers in the North there has been no reprieve to the drought this year; many have slimmed their herd and are feeding most of everything they have left. So hay demand will continue to be strong in the North. As trucks become available after harvest hay prices are likely to rise as more hay starts moving. 

For the week ending 10/22 lamb slaughter under federal inspection was estimated at 34,000 head on Friday. There is an expected Saturday slaughter of 1,000 head. That will bring the total weekly slaughter to 35,000 head. That’s a 1,000 head more than the previous week and 1,000 head less than the previous year. Year to date lamb slaughter is at 1,540,000 head. After being slightly behind last year for several months, lamb slaughter in the US  came back to even with the previous year’s slaughter. This week it moves 0.3% ahead of the previous year. Cattle slaughter has continued to keep pace ahead of the previous year at 3.1%. Hog slaughter continues to slide behind 2020 now -1.9% behind. USDA data  for goat slaughter this week was 11,120 head on Friday afternoon. Lamb and mutton production under federal inspection through 10/22 is estimated at 2.1 million pounds. That is up unchanged from the previous week. Year to date lamb and mutton production is estimated at 97.8 million pounds. Production continues to drop behind 2020 for the fourth month now by 2.8% or about 2.8 million pounds. The average live lamb weight for the week ending 10/22 was 122 pounds, that was up 1 pounds from the previous week and up 1  pounds from last year. Dressed weights for lambs this week were 61 pounds. That is unchanged from the previous week and a year ago. 

Sale reports from the week

Here is a regional price range from all sales in the report. For a look at an individual sale follow the links to that sale. 

Wool lambs

40-70 lbs $250-$318.50/cwt 

70 lbs & up $145-$245/cwt

Hair lambs

20-40 lbs $290-$335/cwt

40-70 lbs $285-$340/cwt

70 lbs and up $212.50-$295/cwt

Wool ewes 

Slaughter $85-$140/cwt

Replacement N/A 

Wool bucks N/A

Hair Ewes 

Slaughter $75-$195

Replacement $200-$220/hd

Hair Rams

Slaughter $135-$165/cwt

Kid Goats

20-40 lbs $230-$380/cwt

40-70 lbs $210-$345/cwt

70 lbs & up $235-$290/cwt


Slaughter medium-fleshy $135-$170/hd

Replacement $140-$300/HD


Slaughter $140-$220/cwt

Breeding $215-$265/hd


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