Conclusions

Real lamb prices have declined for more than four decades in the United States. Sheep numbers have also declined

Fig. 1 Numbers of ewes and lambs (thousands) in 2002[1] ordered by number of breeding ewes within state. Lamb crop numbers represent lambs born in the eastern states and lambs docked or branded in the western states. Other states include AL, AK, AR, DE, FL, GA, HI, KY, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NC, SC, and TN. New England includes CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT. The total numbers for the United States were 3.98 million ewes, 4.36 million lambs, and 1.70 million lambs marketed.

Fig. 1 Numbers of ewes and lambs (thousands) in 2002[1] ordered by number of breeding ewes within state. Lamb crop numbers represent lambs born in the eastern states and lambs docked or branded in the western states. Other states include AL, AK, AR, DE, FL, GA, HI, KY, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NC, SC, and TN. New England includes CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT. The total numbers for the United States were 3.98 million ewes, 4.36 million lambs, and 1.70 million lambs marketed.

and now lamb is regarded by most consumers as a specialty meat. Producers of lambs marketed through traditional commodity channels are working toward supplying younger and leaner lambs that are better tailored to the current American pallet and commercial processors are providing more consumer-friendly products. Pockets of farmers directly supplying specialty markets have sprung up near urban centers around the United States. Because prices are consistently higher, additional efforts should be made to assist farmers in supplying these markets.

REFERENCES

1. USDA. Sheep and Goat Statistics. USDA Economics and Statistics System; 2003. http://jan.mannlib.cornell.edu/ reports/nassr/livestock/pgg bb/shep0103.txt.

2. Anonymous. Livestock Marketing Information Center. World Wide Web 2003. http://www.lmic.info/.

3. USDA. USDA Weekly National Lamb Market Summary. World Wide Web 2003. http://www.ams.usda.gov/ LSMNpubs/PDF_Daily/frilamb.pdf.

4. Schmidley, A.D. Profile of the Foreign Born Population in the United States: 2000. U.S. Census Bureau; Series P23 206; U.S. Government Printing Office, 2001. http:// www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p23 206.pdf.

5. Lewis, R.M.; Notter, D.R.; Hogue, D.E.; Magee, B.H. Ewe fertility in the STAR accelerated lambing system. Journal of Animal Science 1996, 74, 1511 1522.

6. Thonney, M.L.; Stanton, T.L.; Melchior, R.J. Northeast Sheep and Goat Marketing Program. World Wide Web 2003. http://www.sheepgoatmarketing.org/.

7. Anonymous. Marketing out of the MainStream. World Wide Web 2003. http://www.sheepusa.org/marketplace/ outofstream/menu.shtml.

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