No Big Surprises in Latest USDA Cattle on Feed Report, LMIC's Jim Robb Offers His Positive AnalysisTue, 29 May 2018 10:01:21 CDT
No big surprises in the numbers released at the end of last week by USDA regarding the current cattle on feed inventory, according to Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center out of Denver, Colorado. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn had the chance to speak with Robb after the USDA released its monthly on feed report Friday morning. With placements this past month coming in eight percent below a year ago; marketings six percent above the previous year and an on feed inventory that is up five percent, Robb says these numbers support a positive narrative for the beef industry currently managing a plateauing herd expansion and an aggressive strategy to work through growing supplies.
"Importantly, the on feed inventory was up five percent from a year ago, that's still a big number but we've whittled down this on feed inventory very significantly since the first of the year," Robb said. "We started the year with more than eight percent year-over-year increase and now we're down to five percent and we think this trend will hold for the next few months of declining on feed inventory and continue to dampen placements."
Robb suggests drought across the Southern Plains likely contributed to a “bulge” of feedlot inventories in late 2017 when he says a lot of lighter weight calves were placed earlier than normal. Feedlots are now trying to process this influx which will peak in its marketing timeframe during June and July. In the meantime, the US cow herd is starting to see a slower rate of growth, evident in the report’s indication of an increasing amount of females entering the beef production system. As we get closer to the fall months, Robb says a more moderate inventory will be observed. Until then, Robb says he is confident feeders will be able to keep up the impressive pace they have been operating at leading up to the Memorial Day weekend - the traditional kick-off to grilling season. During the next few months, he says demand will play a major role in keeping things afloat for the beef industry.
“This (Memorial Day weekend) will be an important barometer to how beef will shape up for the balance of the summer,” he said. “But, the initial signs look pretty positive for good beef movement.”
Listen to Robb offer his analysis of the recent USDA Cattle on Feed report, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz. To have a look at this report for yourself, click here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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