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Combination of number and weight distribution of placements muddies Cattle On Feed report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USDA’s recent report released on Friday, August 18, 2023, shared some interesting insights into the cattle market. Unlike the past few months, July saw an 8.3% decline in cattle placements, breaking a two-month trend. This drop places the annual number at 2.3% low the previous year. This change fits more clearly with the available feeder supplies and last year’s calf crops.

What remains unanswered is the role of heifers in these placements. A sharp reduction might hint at a larger number of heifers being retained, possibly due to healthier pastures. Expect clearer insights with the forthcoming October report that will shed light on the number of heifers on feed.

More subtle but potentially more dramatic are the demographic changes (mostly weight distribution) of cattle entering feedlots. The most recent Cattle on Feed report showed that while overall placements were down, placements of heavyweight (>800 pounds) animals was up 27 percent. At the same placements of animal under 700 pounds was down 30 percent.

Another often-overlooked aspect is the ‘Other disappearance’ section. This July, it surged by 16%, which translates to 9,000 head more than the previous year. South Dakota and Nebraska accounted for the majority of this change.

As for the rest of the findings, marketings stood 5.3% lower than last year, resulting in a 2.3% reduction in Cattle on Feed. With fewer calves for placement and potentially more heifers joining the herd, this trend is likely to persist. These shifts suggest a sustained demand for cattle, calves, and beef, indicating higher prices in the market.

In market updates, there’s a decline in beef grading Choice since May 20th, pushing the Choice-Select spread. Beef grading Prime increased by 0.67% and select dropped by around a quarter percent. Texas and the South also witnessed a rise in calf prices recently.

CATTLE ON FEED REPORT
Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.0 million head on August 1, 2023. The inventory was 2 percent below August 1, 2022.

Placements in feedlots during July totaled 1.62 million head, 8 percent below 2022. Net placements were 1.55 million head. During July, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 365,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 250,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 370,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 373,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 75,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during July totaled 1.73 million head, 5 percent below 2022.

Other disappearance totaled 65,000 head during July, 16 percent above 2022.

COLORADO:
The number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Colorado feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger was estimated at 980,000 head as of August 1, 2023. The latest inventory was 1 percent below the previous month’s inventory and down 6 percent from the August 1, 2022 inventory.

Cattle feeders with 1,000 head or larger capacity marketed an estimated 120,000 head of fed cattle during July 2023, 14 percent below last month and down 29 percent from the marketings one year earlier.

An estimated 115,000 cattle and calves were placed on feed during July 2023, 15 percent below last month’s placements and 26 percent below the July 2022 placements. Of the number placed in July, 22 percent weighed less than 600 pounds, 17 percent weighed from 600 to 699 pounds, 22 percent weighed from 700 to 799 pounds, 22 percent weighed 800 to 899 pounds and 17 percent weighed 900 pounds or greater.

Other disappearance for July, at 5,000 head, was the same as last month and last year.

MINNESOTA:
Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Minnesota feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 95,000 head on August 1, 2023, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was down 5 percent from July but up 12 percent from August 1, 2022.

Placements of cattle and calves in Minnesota feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during July totaled 9,000 head, down 31 percent from June and down 10 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Minnesota feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during July totaled 13,000 head, up 8 percent from June but down 7 percent from last year.

Other disappearance totaled 1,000 head.

NEBRASKA:
Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.28 million cattle on feed on August 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 2% from last year.

Placements during July totaled 430,000 head, down 4% from 2022.

Fed cattle marketings for the month of July totaled 465,000 head, down 5% from last year.

Other disappearance during July totaled 15,000 head, up 5,000 head from last year.

IOWA: Note: This report is a combination of estimates from the USDA Cattle on Feed survey for Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship-funded Cattle on Feed survey for Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 620,000 head on August 1, 2023, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was down 2 percent from July but up 2 percent from August 1, 2022.

Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 475,000 head on feed, down 10 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,095,000 head, down 5 percent from last month and down slightly from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during July 2023 totaled 51,000 head, down 15 percent from June and down 12 percent from July 2022.

Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 27,000 head, down 37 percent from June and down 52 percent from July 2022.

Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 78,000 head, down 24 percent from June and down 32 percent from July 2022.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during July 2023 totaled 59,000 head, up 2 percent from June and up 5 percent from July 2022.

Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 75,000 head, up 47 percent from June but down 10 percent from July 2022.

Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 134,000 head, up 23 percent from June but down 4 percent from July 2022.

Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 4,000 head.

KANSAS:
Kansas feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.35 million cattle on feed on August 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was up slightly from last year.

Placements during July totaled 410,000 head, down 8% from 2022.

Fed cattle marketings for the month of July totaled 450,000 head, up 1% from last year.

Other disappearance during July totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year.

OKLAHOMA / TEXAS: Note: This report contains results from the August 2023 Cattle on Feed Survey collected during the first two weeks of August. Data provided by Oklahoma and Texas producers are the foundation of the estimates made for the Southern Plains region.

TEXAS:
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in Texas feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 2.72 million head on August 1, 2023, down 5 percent from a year ago.

Producers placed 375 thousand head in commercial feedlots during July, down 5 percent from a year ago.

Texas commercial feeders marketed 360 thousand head during July, down 8 percent from 2022.

On August 1, there were 2.42 million head of cattle and calves on feed in the Northern High Plains, 89 percent of the state’s total. The number on feed across the area was down 5 percent from last year but up slightly from the July 1 total.

July placements in the Northern High Plains totaled 342 thousand head, up 3 percent from the June total.

Marketings were down 20 percent from last month at 322 thousand head.

OKLAHOMA:
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in Oklahoma feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 255 thousand head on August 1, 2023, down 7 percent from a year ago.

Producers placed 38 thousand head in commercial feedlots during July, down 21 percent from a year ago.

Oklahoma commercial feeders marketed 32 thousand head during July, down 24 percent from 2022.

Other disappearance during July totaled 1 thousand head, unchanged from a year ago.

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