Livestock Update, December 1998
Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech
Wool Pool Changes for 1999
Several significant changes will be taking place in the Virginia-North Carolina Wool Pool for the 1999 season. As a result of industry recommendations for improvement in U.S. wool quality, marketing, and handling of wool from the farm to the processor will undergo major changes. The desire of wool processors to handle only baled wool that has been graded for quality determination has brought about these changes. These changes impact wool growers in that wool will need to re-packaged and graded between the farm and the wool processor. For the majority of Virginia sheep producers and wool pools, baling and grading at the farm or local level is not economically feasible. Therefore, the Virginia-North Carolina wool pools have collectively decided to sell their wool through the Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative in Canal Winchester, Ohio. The wool will be sold through the Mid-States consignment program. In the consignment program, each individual producer's wool will be individually graded and payment will be based on the weight of wool sold in the various grades. Therefore, individual producers will be paid on the quality and value of their wool and not on an average price for an entire pool. Producers will receive an advance payment on their wool at delivery, with the final payment being made in December after all wool has been marketed and sold through the cooperative. Wool collection will remain similar to previous years, with several pool collection sites around the state. Producers should begin planning now for the 1999 wool season to maximize their return from their wool clip. Management practices that result in clean, high yielding fleeces that are free of vegetable matter will result in higher prices for wool through this marketing system. For more information on changes in the Virginia-North Carolina Wool Pool contact your local Extension office or Scott Greiner at (540) 231-9159.
Still Time to Register for the 1998 Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds' Symposium
The 1998 Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds' Symposium will be held December 4 and 5 at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center in Blacksburg. This year's symposium will include programs related to lamb and wool marketing, forage systems, sheep health and management, as well as hands-on workshops. Meetings of the Virginia Sheep Producers Association and the Virginia Sheep Industry Board will also be held. A trade show and lamb banquet are also scheduled. For registration information call (540) 231-5182 or go online at