Sheep industry calls for modernization of risk management programs

An American Sheep Industry leader says risk management tools for sheep producers need to be modernized in the next farm bill.

Bob Buchholz, an ASI Executive Board member from Texas, told a House Ag subcommittee Tuesday, that the Wool Marketing Assistance Loan Program operates on a rate established in 2002 and doesn’t reflect modern markets and production expenses.

“In recent years, actual outlays on this program have been non-existent, meaning it has provided very little risk management. It is time to re-evaluate the loan rate and guarantees for this program,” says Buchholz.

Buchholz also called for continued funding for the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center. He says the center provides aid in the marketing of both lamb and wool.

“For example, the NSIIC provides for the development of LRP Lamb Insurance product which is the ONLY risk management tool available to lamb producers, as neither lamb nor wool are traded in a commodities futures market,” says Buchholz.

Buchholz says ASI also supports an adequate vaccine bank for sheep producers and the nation’s entire livestock industry to combat Foot & Mouth Disease. He says research dollars for livestock diseases must not be reduced or eliminated.

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