Another Monthly Record Set for Cattle on Feed with 11.1 Million Head

The September record for cattle on feed was set after increasing 5.6% year-over-year and reaching more than 11.1 million head. This is the fourth month straight a monthly record has been set. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

For the fourth month straight the Cattle on Feed report eclipsed a monthly record with the September 1st feedlot inventory eclipsing 11.1 million head, an increase of 5.6% since the same time in 2017.

According to USDA, there were 11,125,000 head of cattle in feedlots at the start of September, the highest number for the report that started back in 1996. The monthly inventory not only increased year-over-year, but month-over-month with 32,000 more cattle on feed since the August 1st inventory. In August a monthly record was also set, while July and June saw similar records set.

Individual state inventories with the largest increase from last year include California (25%) and Arizona (21%). South Dakota was the only state to see a decline in feedlot inventory with a 7% drop from 2017.

The top five cattle feedlot inventory states are as follows:

  1. Texas 2,680,000 head
  2. Nebraska 2,330,000 head
  3. Kansas 2,310,000 head
  4. Colorado 900,000 head
  5. Iowa 680,000 head

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August feedlot placements were up 6.9% from last year with 2,070,000 cattle placed in the past month. The most popular class of cattle to be placed were 800-899 lb. followed closely by calves weighing 700-799 lb. Last month 800-899 lb. class cattle were the third most popular placed cattle. The placements went as follows for August:

  • 800-899 lb. = 475,000 head
  • 700-799 lb. = 460,000 head
  • Less than 600 lb. = 430,000 head
  • 600-699 lb. = 335,000 head
  • 900-999 lb. = 240,000 head
  • 1,000 lb. and greater = 130,000 head

Fed cattle marketing for July was up 5% since last year with 1.87 million head going through packers.

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