South Dakota's sheep industry on the rise

 Sheep herded into a stall.
Sheep herded into a stall. (KOTA)
Published: Sep. 19, 2019 at 5:26 PM MDT
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The 74th annual Newell ram sale helps build the sheep industry in western South Dakota.

Gilbert Wood studies the sheep markets and is used to the fluctuation.

"The last few years have been pretty steady but I'm seeing a lot of ups and downs in 32 years in the sheep market," says Wood.

Wood attributes the current market to ranchers getting back into the sheep business

"They are buying young ewes and getting back in. Sheep goes along good with cattle," says Wood.

But recently, cattle have been affected by US China tariffs. The Sheep industry hasn't seen the same issues according to Justin Tupper.

"In the lamb deal probably not nearly affected by the China trade deal is," says Tupper. "The markets probably up a few dollars, the sheep deal is pretty good shape and a lot of good lambs had good summers so good weights and these producers bringing in some outstanding sheep today."

The Newell sale attracts people from across the nation, who want to improve their flocks.

"It makes this town, this sale barn makes this town too. We sell sheep here every week and we sell 150 thousand a year, brings a lot of money into Newell," says Wood.