Lamb seeing brighter side of pandemic over wool

The American Sheep Industry Association says on one hand the pandemic has been holding up wool exports while on the other it’s creating outstanding demand for lamb.

Executive director Peter Orwick tells Brownfield about half of the wool produced in the U.S. is exported.

“The traders, exporters, warehouses, as well as domestic mills all reported issues with the cost of freight—both domestic trucking as well as containers,” he says.

He adds as more people are working from home, there’s also been less demand for finer wools for formal wear and products used in suits.

Very strong lamb prices have continued which Orwick has been helpful as input costs have risen as well.

“I think we picked up consumers that hadn’t looked at it before and now there’s an expectation that they will need lamb in service to them,” he says.

Orwick says the industry is also focusing on a new wool assurance program, efforts to mitigate disease outbreaks, and sustainability.

Sheep producers from across the country met this past week in California for their annual convention.

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