SD Sheep Industry Counts Lowest Numbers in Over a Century



The Capital Journal reports: 

In the big annual count in January, USDA said South Dakota’s sheep and lamb population was 250,000.

The first year the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics counted sheep was 1920 in South Dakota, when it tallied 844,000 sheep and lambs, said Erik Gerlach of the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Sioux Falls.

Except for a short dip under 700,000 in the late 1920s, the numbers kept climbing to the peak of 2,407,000 in 1943, or about 10 times the current population.

The number of cattle in South Dakota has remained fairly stable, at 3.8 million in the latest big count in January. It gives the state an interesting first place: South Dakota has more cattle – 4.5 – per person than any other state.

The falling number of sheep, in fact, has been used by some cattle producers, members of the South Dakota Stock Growers Association, as a warning to not let world markets and U.S. trade policies hamstring domestic producers.


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Source:  Capital Journal


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