The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System has released the Sheep Death Loss 2020: Sheep and Lamb Predator and Nonpredator Death Loss in the United States report on Tableau. The interactive dashboard can be accessed here. The study is a collaborative effort between USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service; USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services; and NAHMS. The dashboard contains data from sheep death loss studies dating back to 1995. The iterations occur every five years along with NASS’s Sheep and Goat survey. Sheep Death Loss 2020 report highlights:
- Approximately 5.2 million sheep and lambs were raised on 99,364 operations.
- Approximately 607,000 sheep and lambs – valuing $121.6 million – were lost in 2019.
- Sheep losses of 219,000 in 2019 accounted for 6.8 percent of the January 2020 adult sheep inventory; lamb losses of 388,000 in 2019 accounted for 12 percent of the 2019 lamb crop lost.
- In 2019, predation accounted for 32.6 percent of adult sheep losses and 40.1 percent of lamb losses.
- The leading known nonpredator causes of loss for adult sheep were old age, internal parasites and lambing problems. For lambs, the leading known nonpredator causes of loss were weather-related causes, internal parasites and lambing problems.
- The main predators causing loss of adult sheep were coyotes, dogs and bears. The main predators causing loss of lambs were coyotes, dogs and mountain lions.
- Approximately $51.4 million was spent by 77.1 percent of operators who used nonlethal predator damage management methods. The use of these methods has been trending upward since 2004. Methods included fencing, night penning and the use of lamb sheds.
- Approximately $4.7 million was spent by the 13.4 percent of operators who used lethal predator damage management methods.
- New information included in the latest report includes:
- Producer-reported costs of non-lethal and lethal predator damage management methods.
- Use of lethal predator damage management methods.
- Use of government assistance to manage predator damage.
- Use of official identification.
- Number of producers ceasing sheep operation and their reasons.
Questions and comments about the study or dashboard can be directed to Matthew Branan, Matthew.A.Branan@usda.gov. Source: USDA/NAHMS