Derrell Peel- On Feed Numbers Finally Under Year Ago Levels in Latest Cattle on Feed Report

The May USDA Cattle on Feed report released on Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday hit almost all of the pre report estimates square on the head. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on May 1, 2024. The inventory was 1% below May 1, 2023, USDA NASS reported on Friday.

Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.66 million head, 6% below 2023. Net placements were 1.60 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 335,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 220,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 375,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 451,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 205,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.87 million head, 10% above 2023.

After the report- Oklahoma Farm Report’s Ron Hays talked with Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel about the numbers and what they seem to be telling us- listen to their conversation by clicking on the listen bar below:

Ron Hays talks cattle on feed with OSU Ag economist Dr. Derrell Peel

Dr. Peel believes that the on feed numbers finally slipping below a year ago is significant- “You know we have been over year ago levels in the on feed numbers for several months now- we built them up last fall and carried that into the first part of this year, now we have dropped back year over year levels and I would anticipate- although I have been wrong before- I would anticipate that we would stay below year over year for an extended period of time and continue to pull this feedlot inventory going forward.”

Hays and Peel also do a deep dive into the marketings and placements from this report- and what is happening to carcass weights here in 2024.

To review the complete May USDA Cattle on Feed Report- click here.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story 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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