Air Emissions and Animal Agriculture


Sheep production is scattered across the United States with areas of concentration in Texas, California and Colorado.

With more than 900,000 head, Texas is the state with the largest number of sheep and lambs, but the majority of the state’s flock is breeding animals. California has the largest market animal inventory followed by Colorado, Texas, South Dakota and Wyoming.  

Sheep production tends to be less concentrated than the production of other animals. For example, the 2007 USDA Ag Census reports 4,063 California farms with sheep flocks. 10% of the state’s inventory is on 3,737 farms with 25 head or fewer. In comparison, less than 1% of California’s dairy cows are on farms with fewer than 100 milk cows. The 29 flocks on California farms with more than 5,000 head represent 56% of the state’s sheep and lamb inventory. This same type of concentration is evident in Texas, where 51% of the state’s sheep and lambs are on farms with more than 1,000 head, only 5% of the state’s sheep and lamb farms. This pattern of large numbers of small flocks with fewer than 25 head countered by more than 50% of the state’s sheep and lamb inventory on farms with over 1,000 animals is also evident in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

As you can see in the table and map below, most sheep production occurs on the western side of the United States.


USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Maps

USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, State Level Data by State

Last Updated 09/07/2011