USDA: cattle placements jump 7%

The USDA’s latest round of cattle on feed numbers was very close to pre-report expectations.

Placements into feedlots during August were 2.070 million head, up 7% on the year, and mostly cattle weighing less than 800 pounds. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 430,000 head, 600 to 699-pound placements were 335,000, and placements of cattle weighing 700 to 799 pounds were 460,000, while 800 to 899-pound placements were 475,000 head, the 900 to 999-pound category was 240,000, and placements of cattle weighing more than 1,000 pounds were 130,000. That was the fourth month in a row with an increase as relatively low feed costs and dry weather pushed cattle off pasture and canceled out some of the concerns about profitability. These cattle will be marketed between February and June of next year.

Marketings during August were slightly above a year ago at 1.983 million head and the total number of cattle on feed on September 1st was the highest since the series of reports began at 11.125 million head. The biggest increase in inventory was California, up 25% on the year, while South Dakota was the only major state to report a year to year decline.

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