cattle

No Big Changes in January Cattle Feedlot Numbers

Dan Cattle, Economy

cattle
Editorial credit: mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com

In USDA’s first Cattle on Feed Report for 2021, there wasn’t a big change in numbers from a year ago. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on January 1, just slightly above January 1, 2020. And as Gary Crawford reports, the numbers in this report are remarkably similar to those from a year ago.

USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam talks about the percentage of heifers in feedlot inventories this year and last year at this time.

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Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on January 1, 2021. The inventory was slightly above January 1, 2020. The inventory included 7.40 million steers and steer calves, up slightly from the previous year. This group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.57 million head, down slightly from 2020.

Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.84 million head, 1 percent above 2019. Placements were the second-highest for January since the series started in 1996. Net placements were 1.78 million head. During December, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 460,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 435,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 425,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 317,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 110,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 95,000 head.

Marketing’s of fed cattle during December totaled 1.85 million head, 1 percent above 2019. Marketings were the second-highest for January since the series began in 1996.