Views

October 2018

The reality for many producers is the continuing struggle  with feed shortage. This can be discouraging and financially difficult. There is no one solution to the problem as each producer’s situation is unique.  I encourage producers to do what they can to retain as much of their flock as possible as future prices and demand for lamb looks good.  If you’re in a feed shortage situation I would suggest step one would be to exercise a cull on the breeding flock.  Sell off unproductive, thin and older breeding stock; try to save the most potentially productive ewes or replace with a good ewe lamb with years of potential.  Better to invest expensive feed in future potential rather than in marginal ewes. 
I continue  to receive  calls from producers wondering what our  future lamb prices will be.  This is extremely difficult to predict; however, I do have some thoughts on it.   With the strong demand for lambs I don’t see a significant softening of lamb prices for good quality lambs, especially finished lambs.   Feed costs will put downward pressure on feeder lamb prices, the price per pound between feeder and finished lambs will be marginal.  Feeder lambs will need to be bought at a price that pencils out for the feedlot operator. 
The 2018 Grasslands Sheep Exhibition was another success, a report can be found in this issue of Sheep Shape.  There were several new exhibitors to the show this year which is great to see.  The 2019 Grasslands Sheep Exhibition will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Canadian Sheep Classic Show and Sale in Humboldt July 18-21.  The event will include a purebred and commercial show and sales, wool working demonstrations, shearing competitions, working dog demonstrations, trade show and more.   We are looking forward to a great event and looking for volunteers to help with a variety of activities.  If you would be willing to help us out, please call Gord at 306-933-5582 or email gordsheepdb@sasktel.net

Registering for a PID number is now mandatory and will be required to access funding. .  The SSDB will begin asking for your PID when purchasing CSIP tags, please get your  PID number today.  There is no cost associated with getting a number.  Producers can apply online or by submitting a paper application. Producers can visit http://premisesid.saskatchewan.ca to enroll online, or phone the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1‐866‐457‐2377 for further information. A paper application may be downloaded off the website or is available at the SSDB office as well.  Note: If you have already obtained your Saskatchewan Premise ID for another livestock species it is not necessary to obtain another PID number. 
A PID number will be required to access Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) funding programs.

It is once again election time for SSDB directors.  Elections are required in the North West, South West and South East regions.  We are looking for dedicated individuals with a passion for the Saskatchewan sheep industry. If this is you and you’re interested  in serving as a director, please submit  your nomination forms to the office by November 7, 2018.  Election information including nomination forms can be found in this issue of Sheep Shape.  
Agribition is November 19-24, 2018. The Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board will again be a part of the Family Ag Pavilion. We are always in the need for additional volunteers.  If you would be willing to help us out at the booth it would be very much appreciated.  please call the office. Agribition Sheep Show and Sale events start Thursday November 22 with the Commercial Show at 4:00 pm.  Friday morning at 9:00 am the Purebred Show gets under way.  Saturday 9:30 am the Junior Show followed by the Sale at 1:00 pm. 

The Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board’s Symposium and Annual General Meeting is on January 11-12, 2019. The event will be held at the Ramada Hotel in Saskatoon.  A block of hotel rooms has been reserved under the SSDB, when booking ask for the special rate.  The Symposium will begin at 1:00 pm on Friday and end Saturday afternoon. Prior to the Symposium I will again be offering the Canadian Verified Sheep Program Training  starting at 10:00 am on Friday.   Mark your calendar!  Full agenda is available on our website and on the back cover of this issue of Sheep Shape.
The SSDB is offering a new service to producers.   Several producers over the years have asked if I would visit their farms and provide them with some facility and production pointers.  It was difficult for me to do this in the past due to budget restraints, nor was it appropriate to use industry resources to do a specific producer farm visit.    The SSDB is offering a new user pay service to its members.  Producers can request a farm visit but will be invoiced by the SSDB for my time and expenses.    I am currently working 4 days a week, so this new service will be provided outside my normal working hours.  If you’re interested in a farm visit, please contact me at the office 306-933-5582.    
After months of consultation we now have new Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) programing available to Saskatchewan sheep producers.  Financial support is available to assist sheep producers address biosecurity, animal welfare and on-farm food safety issues.  Up to $15,000 in rebate funding is available to producer.  More information for this program is included in this issue of Sheep Shape and on our website under the programs page.  Additional assistance programs are also available under the CAP program.   If you have questions, please contact us at the office. 
The Ewe Shoppe is again offering a lamb milk replacer booking program, significant savings on milk replacer are available through the Ewe Shoppe.  Volume purchases from our supplier allows us to pass savings on to our producers. No need to take possession of the product until needed.  Please see the Ewe Shoppe ad in this issue and call us today to book your milk replacer for the upcoming lambing season.   
It was good to talk to many of you at the various fall sales.  I appreciate visiting and learning from producers, your opinions and suggestions are helpful.  We will need your help later this fall as we begin  the process of renewing  the next SSDB five-year strategic plan.  More information will be sent to you later this fall, I encourage producers to participate in this process, it is extremely valuable to us and to our industry.
Thought for the day: None of us are as good individually as we can be together.

About SSDB

The board operates under the regulatory structure of the Saskatchewan Agri-Food Council. Five board members elected from the five regions across the province represent the producers of Saskatchewan.

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