2017 has come to a close, for the most part it was a pretty good year for the sheep industry. The industry has seen good prices and steady demand for lambs the last few years. We’re hearing lots of positive chatter about the sheep industry, interest from people looking to get into the industry and current producers expanding their flocks. This is good news, we need more lambs for the Canadian markets.
For some producers there were some anxious times this past year securing feed supply. However, as it turned out inventories are better than originally expected. Just a word of caution; if you’re using alternative feed stuffs, I encourage feed testing and the help of a nutritionist to ensure the animal’s nutritional requirements are being met. This will benefit producers at lambing time when ewe’s nutritional requirements are highest.
I trust members have recognized a common theme in SSDB activities in the last couple of years; this will continue in 2018. The SSDB Strategic Plan and Plan for Growth 2020 will continue to influence our activity focus on increasing lamb production and creating a positive environment for lamb production in Saskatchewan. Any suggestions or thoughts on what you think is needed is always appreciated, producers have great insights and your input is very helpful. We all recognize there is much more that could be done, however; financial resources continue to limit SSDB activities.
On the theme of producers helping us out, we are looking for good sheep pictures to update the Ag in the Classroom and Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan photo libraries. Pictures can be of just sheep, however pictures with people/farm families are very good as well. If you have pictures you are willing to share, please send them to me. Thank you in advance for your help.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency is increasing the number of farm audits to ensure compliance of the current livestock identification and traceability regulations. Current regulation requires sheep producers to keep the following records and retain them for a minimum of five years:
If moving sheep off the farm that are over 18 months of age.
- the identification number on the sheep's approved tag;
- the date the sheep was moved; - the reason the sheep was moved; and
- the name and address of the owner or person that will have possession, care or control of the sheep at its new location.
These requirements do not apply to sheep that are transported directly from the farm to an abattoir registered under federal or provincial regulations
If receiving sheep on my farm for breeding purposes
- the identification number of the sheep's approved tag;
- the date you received the sheep on your farm; and
- the name and address of the owner or person who had possession, care or control of the sheep at its previous location
For more details on current Livestock Identification and Traceability requirements visit the CFIA website www.inspection.gc.ca and in the search box put livestock identification and traceability.
In previous issues of Sheep Shape I have been emphasizing that Growing Forward 2 funding is coming to an end February 28, 2018. So, there is still time, if you have not used the Growing Forward 2 funding available to you, please take advantage of this opportunity. We’ve been involved in several consultation meetings with the Ministry and planning for the new five-year funding policy framework which will be called the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP). Although we have some idea of what the new framework will look like, nothing has been confirmed to date. As soon as we have program details available we will share them with our producers.
All the best in 2018 and I again look forward to serving you, the Saskatchewan sheep producers in this upcoming year.