As Expected- Placements Fall in December as Reported in Latest Cattle on Feed ReportMon, 23 Jan 2012 04:10:41 CST
The January 2012 USDA Cattle on Feed Report was largely as expected, with one slight surprise, which was delivered in the cattle marketed number. USDA estimated that there were three percent more cattle on feed January first compared to one year ago, with two percent fewer cattle marketed and six percent fewer calves placed into the nation's feedlots during the month of December.
Analysts generally agreed in advance of the report that so many cattle had been pulled ahead this past fall to be placed into feedlots- in many cases because of lack of forage in the southern plains because of the historic drought we have been dealing with- that the supplies of animals that could go into the feedlots were simply drying up.
After the report, Dr. Ron Plain of the University of Missouri told FarmFutures.Com that the report was exactly what the trade was expecting, at least as far as the placement numbers were concerned. The numbers of cattle being marketed was greater than the pre report guesses, so that helped temper the overall number of cattle on feed as we begin 2012.
Dr. Plain says while this report does not give any real direction on the size of the US Beef Cow herd- he expects that we have lost ground in the overall cow numbers in this country due to the drought centered in Texas and Oklahoma. "Steers on feed were up 1.4% compared to a year ago but the number of heifers on feed were up 5.6%. So a lot more heifers were moved into feedlots in the last part of 2011 than steers; they're headed to slaughter rather than being kept for breeding. It's another indication that the cow herd is likely to be down in 2012 with fewer calves, which is going to continue to tighten the supply of cattle and the supply of beef in grocery stores."
Our own Ed Richards talked with Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities about the numbers after they were released- Leffler's comments are featured in today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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