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November 2004


Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program


USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Payment Program (ELRRPP) provides producers with $18 million in direct payments to help them replace and retain ewe lamb breeding stock.

An estimated 66,800 sheep and lamb operations in the United States have experienced long-term poor market conditions, which has led to reduced incomes. Increased imports and extreme drought conditions in domestic sheep-producing areas have forced producers to decrease production and flock size.

ELRRPP will strengthen the lamb industry by boosting the purchasing power of producers, including their ability to invest in larger and genetically-improved breeding stocks. Increasing the value of domestic lambs will help the industry achieve sustained market competitiveness, while respecting international trade obligations.

The program is authorized by Section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935, as amended.


To be eligible for benefits, the lamb operation must:

  • Have purchased or retained ewe lambs for breeding purposes between August 1, 2003, and July 31, 2004;

  • Have retained the qualifying ewe lambs in the herd for at least one complete offspring lambing cycle; and

  • Not have received funds under USDA's Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program for the same ewe lamb.

Additional eligibility requirements apply and are available at local FSA offices.

Ewe Lamb Requirements

During at least part of the base period (August 1, 2003, to July 31, 2004), the qualifying female ewe lamb must:

  • Not have been older than 18 months; and

  • Not have produced an offspring.

In addition, the lamb must not possess parrot mouth, foot rot, or scrapie. Ewe lambs born before February 1, 2002, are ineligible. Other ewe lamb requirements apply and are available at local FSA offices.


Subject to the availability of funds, payments for qualifying operations will be $18 for each qualifying ewe lamb retained or purchased for breeding purposes. If the amount of approved applications exceeds available funding, FSA will uniformly apply a national factor to reduce payments to producers.

There are no maximum payments or herd limits for eligible operations meeting eligibility requirements.


Sign-up for the program began October 25, 2004. Eligible operations should apply for ELRRPP benefits during this timeframe by completing form FSA-384, "Ewe Lamb Replacement/Retention Payment Program Application." This form is available at local FSA offices and online at:


To ensure program compliance, ELRRPP participants are subject to on-site spot-checks by local FSA staff.

Ewe Lamb Documentation

If selected for spot check, applicants must provide appropriate ewe lamb documentation, including:

  • Sales receipts as proof of purchase and retention;

  • Farm management records kept through normal production practices;

  • Veterinarian certifications as proof of ewe lamb characteristics; and

  • Scrapie program forms as proof of compliance with 9 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 79.

For More Information

More information on ELRRPP is available at local FSA offices and on FSA's Web site at:


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.