Record Set for October Cattle on Feed with 11.4 Million Head

Record Set for October Cattle on Feed with 11.4 Million Head

Another monthly record was set for feedlot inventory after the fifth straight month of record high Cattle on Feed numbers with 11.4 million head reported on Oct. 1.

The feedlot inventory for the start of October was up 5.2% since the same time in 2017, according to the monthly USDA report. The total inventory of 11.4 million was the highest number for the report in October after starting back in 1996. The monthly inventory also saw an increase versus September’s report with 275,000 more cattle on feed this month.

The feedlot inventory includes 7.09 million steers, an increase of 2.29% from 2017. Heifers saw a large increase of 11% with a total of 4.3 million heifers in feedlots on Oct. 1.

Feedlot inventories increased in every major state except South Dakota, which dropped by 2.3% from last year. The largest percentage increase was for California at 20.9% and closely followed by Arizona at 19%. The next largest increase was in Washington with a 10% climb.

States with the largest increases per head include Nebraska with 140,000 more cattle since last year and Kansas with 120,000 additional cattle.

The top five cattle feedlot inventory states saw no change in their order and are as follows:

Texas 2,660,000 head
Nebraska 2,430,000 head
Kansas 2,370,000 head
Colorado 980,000 head
Iowa 690,000 head

September feedlot placements took a dive with 99,000 fewer cattle entering yards, resulting in a 4.6% drop since the same time in 2017. The most popular class of cattle to be placed were 800-899 lb. followed by calves weighing 700-799 lb. and calves lighter than 600 lb. Two months ago 800-899 lb. class cattle were the third most popular placed cattle, but the heavier class of cattle has continued to stay at the top of placements. The placements went as follows for September with no change in the order of popularity:

800-899 lb. = 466,000 head
700-799 lb. = 430,000 head
Less than 600 lb. = 425,000 head
600-699 lb. = 330,000 head
900-999 lb. = 280,000 head
1,000 lb. and greater = 120,000 head
Fed cattle marketing for September were down 3.72% since last year with 1.72 million head going through packers.

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