Sheep ranchers caught between drought, low lamb prices

Drought, low lamb prices creating tough business environment across West

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  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Nov. 13, 2012 1:16 a.m.

    You can find a local sheep rancher and buy your lamb, mutten, wholesale? Look in the phone book or on line, find a ranch with sheep, call and ask prices and recomendations, most will even know where to find a good butcher. Buy it on the hoof, have it slaughtered and butchered, aged and then pay directly to the rancher and the butcher. This works with beef and pork also. You will get the very best meat, fresh and home grown!!!

  • MntnTop Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    Lamb is delicious, nutritious, and a great way to eat local.Try Springville Meat, they process Morgan Valley Lamb and maybe it costs a bit less that way. Sheep ranchers continue to provide food and fiber utilizing range land that has little other use, and using the land in a way that leaves it better by controlling weeds, brush that leads to fires, pruning vegetation leading to new growth with higher nutrition content for dear, etc.

  • cns St George, Utah
    Nov. 12, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    I really like lamb and buy it when I can find it at a decent price. The local Harmons some times has lamb from Morgan. They tell me lamb is hard to get ?? The most dependable source here is Costco and it is all from Australia or New Zealand.

  • Just saying 7 BLOOMINGTON, IN
    Nov. 12, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    As a fiber artist, I hate to hear when the sheep industry is struggling. Wool is truly a wonderful 'green' fiber: renewable, fire resistant, and plentiful. Though wish sheep ranchers paid more attention to the quality of wool. Handspinners pay good money for quality fleeces.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    Its great, now that Romney didn't win we can start making fun of his economic plans, like the last four years of Bush blaming. Really, two cheap shots at Romney, He is not the President.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    If New Zeland lamb farmers are so great, why dont' they google what they're doing over there and duplicate it here?

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Three years ago the price of a ewe was $70-$80. Lambs were selling at about $45-$65. The prices began to go up and many people got in the market. Actually many more people got out of the market when it was on the way up vs now it is going down.

    The price of ewes went to $125 and nobody was complaining.

    The New Zealand lamb producers had to be estatic as they had been able to raise and ship lambs to USA and sell into the market at $70 level and still make money. When the price of lambs went up by 60-%70% they were really enthused and happy to supply the American market.

    The market was not yet done as last year the price of lambs was above $200 in most areas. In 3 years the price had increased 250%, now somebody says the inventory levels are too high and at $125 per lamb they are being driven out of business?

    Now if Mitt had been elected I am sure he could have controlled the world price of oil and of sheep yet he likes to let the market dicate the price so ....

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    I have to agree that ranchers themselves are partly to blame for the poor sales of lamb. But sheep ranchers really haven't taken the initiative like the pig farmers did years ago with their "The Other White Meat" campaign. I think lamb is still seen as being more of a "fancy" or "gourmet" food that the average consumer isn't going to spend a little extra to buy. Even when not constrained by cost, I think there are fewer consumers who know how to cook lamb, or realize its culinary versatility. They'd do well to invest more in advertising and promotion touting lamb's nutritional benefits versus other meats.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    It's a shame Romney was not elected. This wouldn't be happening if he had.