Setting new records with cattle on feed
There are some big numbers in USDA’s latest cattle on feed report. There were 12,000,000 head of cattle and calves on feed January 1st.
This is one percent above a year ago, and the second-highest inventory for the month since the record-keeping began in 1996.
December placements were a new record at nearly 2,000,000 head. That is 6 percent higher than last year. However, USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam says that beef production is going to be lower due to a higher number of heifers in feedlots.
“Could be taken as a sign that producers who might normally have retained some heifers for addition to the breeding herd may have been putting them in feedlots instead,” Shagam explains.
USDS will release their bi-annual cattle inventory report next week, which should offer some clarity.