Sheep Demand On Track

Sheep demand is remaining steady compared to past years. That’s according to Eric Meudt, Vice President of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative. He says the holidays and ethnic markets are two key driving factors.

“While carcasses have not seen much change, lamb demand has increased, particularly in the ethnic markets,” says Meudt. “Tailgating and holidays affect demand seasonally, with football season typically seeing a rise in beef and pork consumption, and the spring and summer being popular for ethnic holidays.”

The industry is working to even out the supply year-round, with a focus on minimizing high input costs. Consumer demand for lamb in the off season means producers are changing things up. Many are now working to meet that spring market lamb demand by lambing in the fall. Right now, more than three-quarters of lambs are born in spring.

“The trend for sheep numbers in Wisconsin is up, with niche markets and small breeds becoming more popular,” explains Meudt. “The fiber industry is also growing, with the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Association seeing an increase in demand.”