Dr. Derrell Peel Talks Cattle on Feed and Marketing Placement NumbersMon, 27 Jan 2020 15:05:19 CST
The first of the year Cattle on Feed Report from USDA is out. Radio Oklahoma Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Extension Livestock Economist, Dr. Derrell Peel, to talk about what the numbers are telling us so far, "Well, the January cattle on feed report had placements in the month of December up 3.5% from a year ago. Marketing's in December of 5.3%, and that leads to a January one on feed total that's up 2.3% from one year ago."
Peel says none of these numbers were a big surprise, and that the marketing and placement numbers were pretty close to the levels a year earlier. According to the report, placement numbers were up, and the on-feed number was also a couple of percentage points above what we saw in 2019. Peel says we are approaching the peak, "You know we're approaching the peak cyclically in these numbers. Obviously, we're not quite there. We did have bigger placements in December, we had bigger placements for the two months prior to that, although you know earlier last year we had four months in a row where placements were down year over year. So there's some short term dynamics here from month to month adjustments, but overall what it says is that we do still have lots of cattle in the feedlot to work through. The placements in December, a good chunk of those increased placements were in the heavyweight category, over 1000 pounds. So that means those cattle will not be on feed for a long period of time, so we're going to have plenty of cattle coming at us here in the first quarter of 2020."
In the next few days, we will be expecting the Cattle Inventory Report. Peel says he has also put together estimates for that report, "So, for January 1, steers were up 1.3%, and that's actually a change. All of 2019 on a quarter by quarter basis, all four quarters of the year, steers on feed was down year over year. And of course, steer slaughter was down in 2019, but we knew there weren't less steers. The calf crop wasn't smaller last year is actually a tick higher than the year before. So this January 1 says yeah, some of those steers got waited until way late in the year, put in the feedlots, so they're in the feedlot right now. Heifers on feed were up 4%. It's been above for several quarters now, as we have slowed down heifer retention. This is kind of consistent with that idea. So all of that leads then to the idea that the cattle inventory numbers will confirm that we have probably peaked or really plateaued in cattle numbers. I have most of the inventory numbers from all cattle, cows, down just fractionally less than half a percent. Some people were estimating a little bit bigger drop than that. But the bottom line is, we're probably at, or slightly below, last year's levels and at a peak level for this particular stage of the cattle cycle."
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Derrell Peel as he talks With Ron Hays.
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