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Audio: April Cattle On Feed Report Sharp Drop In Placements

Audio: April Cattle On Feed Report Sharp Drop In Placements
Photo courtesy K-State Research and Extension

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million head on April 1, 2020. The inventory was 5% below April 1, 2019, USDA NASS reported on Friday.

The inventory included 7.08 million steers and steer calves, down 5% from the previous year. This group accounted for 63% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.22 million head, down 7% from 2019.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.56 million head, 23% below 2019. Placements were the lowest for March since the series began in 1996. Net placements were 1.50 million head. During March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 310,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 220,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 410,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 402,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 155,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 60,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 2.01 million head, 13% above 2019. Marketings were the second highest for March since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 61,000 head during March, 12% below 2019.

You can view the full report here: https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/m326m174z/6969zk43t/0p096s835/cofd0420.pdf

USDA Actual Average Estimate Range
On Feed April 1 95% 95.2% 90.7-96.0%
Placed in March 77% 80.7% 54.6-86.1%
Marketed in March 113% 112.2% 110.1-112.7%
Jerry Stowell, Country Futures, points out that not only was the cattle placed into feed lots historic, but the marketing number was one of the highest since the late 1990s.

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