Missouri’s Sheep, Goat Populations Increase Slightly

Sheep and goat populations across Missouri also increased slightly during 2022, and like their cattle counterparts, bucked the national downtrend.  USDA’s Sheep and Goats report indicated that Missouri farmers had 99,000 sheep in their flocks at the start of the year, up two percent from a year ago.  80,000 were breeding stock, including 63,000 ewes, while 19,000 were destined for market.  During the past year, ewes birthed 80,000 lambs, up 1,000 from the year before.  An additional 1,000 sheep were shorn for wool last year, bringing the total to 33,000.  However, production dropped by 5,000 pounds to 185,000.  That kept Missouri’s average price per pound at 35 cents, now third cheapest in the nation.

Missouri’s milk goat inventory jumped five percent in the past year to 11,200 head.  That kept Missouri in the top ten of milk goat populations.  Missouri’s meat goat population notched higher by 1,000 head to 76,000, good for fifth largest in the nation.  Oklahoma saw a larger increase, moving ahead to fourth largest.

Nationwide, the total sheep and lamb inventory was down one percent at 5.02 million head, with breeding sheep inventory at 3.67 million.  Total lamb crop of 3.11 million was down two percent, and shorn wool production was also down one percent at 22.2 million pounds.  The all goat and kids inventory was down two percent on the year at 2.51 million, which included 2.06 million breeding goats.  The 2022 kid crop totaled 1.58 million head, down one percent.