Beef Buzz News
Higher Than Expected Placements Provide Slightly Bigger Cattle on Feed Number Than a Year Ago
Tue, 25 Jan 2022 05:37:43 CST
The latest Cattle on Feed report was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday. The report wraps up 2021, giving folks in the beef cattle industry a base point to start projections for 2022. Derrell Peel, extension specialist for livestock marketing at Oklahoma State University, spoke with the Oklahoma Farm Report's Senior Farm Broadcaster Ron Hays about the numbers.
Ron Hayss talks Cattle on Feed with Dr. Derrell Peel
The Jan. cattle on feed report shows placements for December up nearly 6% and marketings were even with a year ago. The on-feed total for Jan. 1 was 12 million head of cattle. In all, that rounds up to 1% ahead of a year ago and makes the Jan. inventory the second-highest since 1996.
"It is bigger than expected," Peel said. "It is outside the range for guesses. I had seen some stuff that said we might see some big placements, but when it was all said and done, nobody anticipated these placements to be this high."
The high number of placements will be treated as a bearish factor in the market, according to Peel.
"With the streak we had in cattle markets all fall, we saw cattle-auction runs build through Nov.," Peel said. "I think some of it might have been the timing of when the cattle came to town.
"In the Southern Plains, we are very dry right now. We know some of the wheat pasture is going backward, so we may have had some cattle actually come back through the auctions and wind up going into the feedlots or moving straight from the wheat to the feedlots earlier than expected."
The large placement number pushed the on-feed total up, according to Peel. Working through the bottleneck of cattle on feed caused by the Holcomb, Kan. processing plant fire and the COVID-19 pandemic soon after has been a slow process, he added.
"If you look at the weight break downs in this number, you see for the second month in a row that the bulk of the increase of placements was in very light-weight cattle," Peel said. "Part of that was the time of the year, part of it may be the lack of wheat pasture and part of it may be that is just what feedlots can find right now."
Peel said if that is the case, it may soon be revealed that the U.S. beef cattle herd is much tighter than the numbers show.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Derrell Peel as they talk about the Jan. 2022 Cattle on Feed report from the USDA.
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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