Wyoming ranchers and farmers report the number of sheep and lambs totaled 355,000 head on January 1, 2016, up 10,000 head from a year ago. According to Rhonda Brandt, Wyoming State Statistician for United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, “The Wyoming sheep and lamb inventory increased 3 percent from last year’s record low inventory. This is the first inventory increase since 2006.”
The number of breeding sheep and lambs increased to 265,000 head for 2016, up from 260,000 head last year. “Wyoming sheep recorded a record high lambing rate during 2015 with 112 lambs born per 100 ewes.” added Brandt. The number of market sheep and lambs also increased to 90,000 head, up from 85,000 head from one year ago.
Wool production increased 8 percent to 2,480,000 pounds of wool sheared during 2015 valued at $4,464,000. Wyoming farmers and ranchers sheared an average of 9.2 pounds per fleece, second only to Nevada and Utah who each sheared 9.4 pounds per fleece. Wyoming wool received the third highest price in the U.S. at $1.80 per pound, behind only Nevada at $2.10 and Montana and Washington at $1.90.