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USDA Releases 2020 Sheep Death Loss Report

Dan Sheep-Goats, USDA-APHIS

Sheep Death Loss

The USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has released the Sheep Death Loss 2020: Sheep and Lamb Predator and Non-predator Death Loss in the U.S. report.

The study is a collaborative effort between USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service; USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services; and NAHMS. The iterations occur every five years along with NASS’s Sheep and Goat survey.

The report shows that approximately 5.2 million sheep and lambs were raised on 99,364 operations across the county, with approximately 607,000 sheep and lambs, valuing $121.6 million, were lost in 2019. Sheep losses of 219,000 in 2019 accounted for 6.8 percent of the January 2020 adult sheep inventory; lamb losses of 388,000 in 2019 accounted for 12 percent of the 2019 lamb crop lost.

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Predation accounted for 32.6 percent of adult sheep losses and 40.1 percent of lamb losses. The leading known non-predator causes of loss for adult sheep were old age, internal parasites and lambing problems. For lambs, the leading known non-predator causes of loss were weather-related causes, internal parasites and lambing problems. The main predators causing loss of adult sheep were coyotes, dogs and bears. The main predators causing loss of lambs were coyotes, dogs and mountain lions.

More numbers from this report can be found on the APHIS website.