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USDA report - increased cattle feedlot numbers amid droughts

The October cattle report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as analyzed by Derrell Peel from Oklahoma State University, provides insightful updates on current cattle market trends. These findings were shared on the agricultural TV show “SUNUP,” highlighting: 

  • Feedlot Dynamics: The report indicates a 106% increase in cattle placements in feedlots from 2022, contrasting with a decrease in marketings to 89% of last year’s figure. This results in a 1% uptick in total feedlot numbers compared to October 2022, marking the first year-over-year increase in 2023. Factors such as lingering drought conditions and strong market prices have encouraged ranchers to place more cattle in feedlots, with feeder cattle being sold earlier to leverage high market prices. 

  • Heifer and Steer Insights: The number of heifers on feed has risen, reaching 40% of the total feedlot inventory, the highest percentage since 2001. This increase, coupled with ongoing beef cow slaughter, indicates that the beef industry continues to liquidate female cattle. 

  • Industry Outlook: The report suggests that the beef industry will face lower beef cow inventory by January 2024, extending the current tight supply situation. The industry is adjusting to these changes, with implications for future market conditions and strategies. 

This analysis of the USDA cattle report sheds light on the adaptive strategies of the beef industry in response to environmental challenges and market opportunities. It also highlights the importance of understanding these trends for stakeholders in the agricultural sector. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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