Cattle on Feed

U.S. Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent

Dan Beef, Cattle, Marketing

Cattle on Feed
Editorial credit: mark reinstein /

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released their April Cattle on Feed Report and the new numbers show the number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.1 million head on April 1, 2022. The inventory was 2 percent above April 1, 2021, making it the highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.99 million head, slightly below 2021.

According to a story from Rod Bain, the report shows more cattle and calves in feedlots than what is normal for this time of year.

Drought and Cattle Feedlot Placements

The 12.1 million head in feedlots includes 7.54 million steers and steer calves, up 2 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.57 million head, up 2 percent from 2021.

Net placements in March were 1.94 million head. During the month, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 375,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 330,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 530,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 515,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 180,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 60,000 head.

Marketing’s of fed cattle during March totaled 2.00 million head, 2 percent below 2021.