USDA Cattle on Feed Report

Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed Down 1%

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.2 million head on Sept. 1, 2021, according to USDA NASS. (DTN ProphetX chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.2 million head on Sept. 1, 2021. The inventory was 1% below Sept. 1, 2020. This is the second-highest Sept. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, USDA NASS said on Friday.

Placements in feedlots during August totaled 2.10 million head, 2% above 2020. Net placements were 2.05 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 405,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 310,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 480,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 534,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 275,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 100,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.89 million head, slightly below 2020.

Other disappearance totaled 59,000 head during August, 7% above 2020.


"Cattle on feed totals were seen at 11.23 million head in the nation's feedlots of 1,000 head or greater as of Sept. 1. That is down 1% from September 2020 totals, but nearly 1% above pre-report estimates," said DTN Analyst Rick Kment. "The 11.2 million head of cattle in feed yards is the second-largest September placement since the series began in 1996, with 2020 being the largest September placement of the series. This is also a 160,000-head increase from August totals, indicating that seasonal lows in on-feed numbers have been set.

"The increase in on-feed numbers compared to expectations and the fact that total numbers only follow pandemic-year levels is expected to carry a bearish tone to the live cattle complex early next week when traders get a chance to trade the data.

"Feeder cattle placements totaled 2.1 million head, 102% of a year ago. This is well above last month's totals as well as above pre-report estimates. The total is also at the top end of analysts' estimated ranges and is likely to carry a moderately negative tone heading into next week. The focus on increased placements earlier in the year, potentially easing the number of cattle moving to feedlots during August, seems to be slightly flawed, which may create longer-term concerns. The thought that overall calf numbers will remain reduced should help to ease feeder cattle numbers in the fourth quarter of the year, but that data is still yet to be determined.

"Cattle marketed during August was fractionally above estimated levels, with 1.88 million head marketed during the month. This factor is expected to be neutral to the market.

"Overall, with increased cattle on feed and larger-than-expected feeder cattle placements, the Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed report is expected to be viewed as generally bearish to the market," Kment said.

DTN subscribers can view the full Cattle on Feed reports in the Livestock Archives folder under the Markets menu. The report is also available at….


USDA Actual Average Estimate Range
On Feed Sept. 1 99% 98.1% 97.2-98.7%
Placed in August 102% 99.5% 95.0-102.8%
Marketed in August 100% 99.8% 99.4-101.4%