More cattle than anticipated

A livestock economist says there are more cattle in the US than the industry expected according to the USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report.

But, University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says he doesn’t want to focus solely on the negative.  “But maybe some of the optimism I had later in 2021, this takes some of the shine off giving what’s been stronger placements than we anticipated.”

He tells Brownfield with input costs projected to rise, risk management will be key to the bottom line.  “We might get out here this summer and get a really big run,” he says.  “We feel like we might have enough vaccines out there that the economy is starting to open back up.  We could see some pretty strong beef demand in that scenario, and it might give us the opportunity to price cattle, by the way.  Let’s make sure we do some risk management if the opportunity arises.” 

Brown says both placements and the total number of cattle on feed were outside the upper end of pre-report expectations.

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