Higher Numbers of Cattle on Feed

Clint Thompson Alabama, Cattle, Florida, Georgia

Cattle on a ranch. Photo taken 03-07-19.

The latest Cattle on Feed Report shows higher cattle inventories as of Oct. 1, 2020. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.7 million head, 4% above Oct. 1, 2019.

This is the highest Oct. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. Placements in feedlots during September totaled 2.23 million head, 6% above 2019. While the high placements of cattle into feedlots are swelling inventories to numbers not seen in at least 24 years, Gary Crawford reports this includes a smaller percentage of heifers. Thus posing the question, are producers holding back more heifers for future herd expansion?

Feedlot placements, at 2.23 million head, included net placements of 2.17 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 445,000 head; 600-699 pounds were 360,000 head; 700-799 pounds were 500,000 head; 800-899 pounds were 517,000 head; 900-999 pounds were 300,000 head; and 1,000 pounds and greater were 105,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.85 million head, 6% above 2019.