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Beef Buzz News


With USDA Behind on Reporting, Analyst Jim Robb Shares His Cattle Inventory Estimates for 2019

Mon, 28 Jan 2019 10:55:09 CST

With USDA Behind on Reporting, Analyst Jim Robb Shares His Cattle Inventory Estimates for 2019 The partial federal government shutdown is now over - at least for three weeks while the President continues to negotiate with Congress on a long-term appropriations bill - but the date has come and gone for the January Cattle of Feed report, which at this point may just be scrapped by the US Department of Agriculture altogether. In the absence of this report, Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center like many other industry analysts, has shared some numbers he thinks the USDA would have published last Friday as the report was originally scheduled if not for the shutdown. Citing those numbers, Robb estimates that cattle placements for the period would have come in slightly above a year ago and marketings conversely down slightly with weights well in check.


“That leaves us with an on feed count of about two percent above one year ago… maybe a shade more,” Robb said. “That’s very much in line with the growth and supplies of calves and yearlings in the overall inventory numbers and down from the large year-over-year increases that we had in 2018.”


Again, with the shutdown now temporarily resolved, it is likely USDA will not publish a January On Feed report. However, it is still within reason to believe that the department will still supply a Cattle Inventory report albeit later than the report’s scheduled date of January 31st, this coming Thursday. Robb provided estimates for this report as well, though, predicting that this report will only show a fractional increase in the overall beef cow herd size of just two to three tenths of one percent, possibly a half a percent, year-over-year. This, of course, Robb says is an indication of moderating growth. It is his contention that this moderating trend will continue on to the point where next year, we will perhaps see either no growth in the herd at all or potentially even see a slight reduction in its size.


“That’s our sense without a report just looking at the data that’s available,” he said, remarking on the significance of that information. “That’s a very important report. It gives us a real gauge of the overall herd and gives us our best estimate of the size of the 2018 calf crop. That’s a number that gets very important as look ahead to placements and how the cattle market will develop in 2019.”


Listen to Robb share his beef industry analysis with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.


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.



   




   

Hear Robb share his beef industry analysis with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays
right-click to download mp3

 

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