Home 5 Ag Stories Cattle on feed growing, but manageable

Cattle on feed growing, but manageable

Photo by Anna Hastert

We are back from the long holiday weekend where trade stopped and recreation took over. The livestock trade is now examining the Cattle on Feed report, released on Friday.

Even though the United States cattle herd continues to grow, the increase in numbers seems to be slowing. Feedlots are selling as fast as cattle grade standard or choice. Observations from a seasoned market watcher in a moment.

AUDIO: Profit Matters 5-29-18

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an early release of its monthly Cattle on Feed report for April 2018. Radio Oklahoma Network associate farm director Carson Horn reached out to Jim Robb, of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, for his initial reaction of the report. Robb says the report fell very much in-line with industry expectations.

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in the United States, for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head, totaled 11.6 million head on May 1, 2018. The inventory was five-percent above May 1, 2017. This is the second highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.70 million head, eight-percent below 2017. Net placements were 1.63 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 320,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 230,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 415,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 445,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 205,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 80,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.80 million head, six-percent above 2017.

“Importantly, the on feed inventory was up five-percent from a year ago, that’s still a big number but we’ve whittled down this on feed inventory very significantly since the first of the year,” Robb said. “We started the year with more than eight-percent year-over-year increase and now we’re down to five-percent, and we think this trend will hold for the next few months of declining on feed inventory and continue to dampen placements.”