PA Sheep and Wool Growers Regional Workshops Feb and March 2020

Details in pdf:  2020 Sheep Regional Training Workshops

Shepherd Workshops Sponsored by:   PA Sheep & Wool Growers Association, PennState Extension, American Sheep Industry and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

February 24th and 25th “Are My Sheep Making Me Money?” Join Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist at Michigan State University as he shares the MSU Lamb Profit Calculator and gain a better understanding of sheep production profitability. You’ll learn to take a critical look at your operation while evaluating the profit of marketing a lamb and how it relates back to the overall profit per ewe in your flock.

Dr. Ehrhardt will also discuss “Basic Principles to Improve Production Efficiency on Your Farm.” Learn how management decisions can alter your bottom line. Discussing methods to lower feed costs, labor investments, and production traits just to name a few.

South Eastern PA Monday, February 24, 2020 Lancaster Farm & Home Center 1381 Arcadia Road Lancaster, PA

North Eastern PA Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Columbia County Extension Office 702 Sawmill Road, Suite 102 Bloomsburg, PA

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March 3rd and 4th Join Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator for the Ohio State University Sheep Team as he presents, “Grazing Systems – Finding the Balance Between Nutrition and Parasite Management.” He has experience in sheep production, welfare, and behavior as well as alternative grazing systems and parasitology from the Wooster campus.

South Western PA Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Washington County Extension Office 100 West Beau Street, Suite 601 Washington, PA

North Western PA Wednesday, March 4, 2020 Mercer County Extension Office 463 North Perry Highway Mercer, PA

Hidden Powers of a Sheep

Nice article in the winter issue of Craftsman Quarterly:

https://craftsmanship.net/the-hidden-powers-of-a-sheep/

Judith Schwartz writes about the people who are trying to turn around the near disappearance of American wool processing within the United States.  Ecological reasons for keeping sheep (they contribute to carbon sequestrian if pastures are managed correctly), natural dying,  and efforts to make  American wool products competitive (based on value not on cost) with Chinese products made from American wool.

Soil Health Enables Climate Beneficial Wool

Rancher Benefits in Multiple Ways from Soil Health

What if, before you purchased a hat or sweater, you knew the wool used to make it came from sheep raised on a ranch managed to improve soil health and increase soil carbon? For nearly a decade, ranch owner Lani Estill has worked with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve soil health.

By adding carbon-conscious conservation practices to her ranch, the operation now stores more carbon in the soil than it emits through its operations. As a result, her operation, Bare Ranch, is marketing “climate beneficial” wool to a national clothing manufacturer. Estill and her family raise sheep and cattle on her 40,000-acre ranch, which sits on the border of northern California and northwest Nevada.

With help from her local NRCS offices and supported by Environmental Quality Incentives Program contracts, Estill has also improved wildlife habitat on her ranch. She improved sage grouse habitat by removing thousands of acres of invasive juniper and installed hedgerows for pollinators. She and her co-owners also installed fencing and livestock watering facilities and are following a prescribed grazing management plan.

Read the full story at www.usda.gov/blog.

Source: ASI Weekly March 9, 2018
 

Cost of Baling Hay

Drovers published an article by Travis Meteer from the University of Illinois stating that every ton of hay contains approximately 40 pounds of N (nitrogen), 20 pounds of P (phosphorus) and 50 pounds of K (potassium). However, it is important to calculate N losses at about 75 percent, thus only about 10 pounds of N are returned to the soil. The values of P and K are accurate to what would be returned.

Fertilizer prices for Illinois published by USDA (May 12 report) are: N $0.40, P $0.34, K $0.29. Using current nutrient values, hay has a fertilizer value of $25.30 per dry ton. Assuming a 1,200-pound round bale is 15 percent moisture, the nutrient value per bale is $12.91.

If you are figuring what it costs to make hay on your farm, add mowing, raking and baling at $20.20 per bale (Machinery Cost Estimates, University of Illinois Extension, June 2015). As a result, a bale of hay sitting in the field costs $33.11.

Other costs would include removal of micronutrients, moving the bales from the field, some additional time and labor in handling the bales and the use of equipment to transport the hay. If yields are below average, nearly all costs increase. Hay storage can also be a substantial part of hay costs.

Source: cattlenetwork.com (from American Sheep Industry Weekly July 22, 2016)