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Cattle placements down, but top expectations

The USDA says there were 1.99 million cattle placed into U.S. feedlots during March, down slightly on the year. However, that’s more than what most analysts were expecting heading into the report, despite high feed costs and drought conditions in some of the major U.S. feeding areas. More than a million head of those placements weighed between 700 and 900 pounds, heading to market this summer or early fall.

Marketings during March were 2% lower at 2 million head, in-line with pre-report estimates, while the total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. on April 1st was 2% higher at 12.105 million head due to those larger than expected placements.

The numbers look bearish, but that will also depend on weather and beef demand.

Comparisons for Brownfield states:

Iowa: On feed: 600,000 head, down 5% from April 1st, 2021; Placements: 100,000 head, 11% lower than March 2021; Marketings: 108,000 head, 1% less than a year ago

Kansas: On feed: 2.51 million head, up 1% from April 1st, 2021; Placements: 490,000 head, unchanged from March 2021; Marketings: 480,000 head, 2% more than a year ago

Minnesota: On feed: 100,000 head, down 13% from April 1st, 2021; Placements: 15,000 head, 6% lower than March 2021; Marketings: 14,000 head, 7% less than a year ago

Nebraska: On feed: 2.66 million head, up 3% from April 1st, 2021; Placements: 470,000 head, 7% higher than March 2021; Marketings: 490,000 head, 8% more than a year ago

South Dakota: On feed: 230,000 head, down 4% from April 1st, 2021; Placements: 35,000 head, 10% lower than March 2021; Marketings: 37,000 head, 10% less than a year ago

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