USDA Feb. 1 Cattle on Feed Report

Feb. 1 Cattle on Feed Up 1%

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.2 million head on Feb. 1, 2022. (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 12.2 million head on Feb. 1, 2022. The inventory was 1% above Feb. 1, 2021. This is the highest Feb. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, USDA NASS reported on Friday.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 2.00 million head, 1% below 2021. Net placements were 1.94 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 420,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 445,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 545,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 414,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 105,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.77 million head, 3% below 2021.

Other disappearance totaled 64,000 head during January, 14% above 2021.


"Given the political circumstances of the world as Russia blasts war on Ukraine, it's likely that Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed report has little effect on the market," said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart. "However, with that being said, there are still some key takeaways that can be gained from analyzing the latest COF data.

"First, even though total on-feed numbers are bursting at the seams, it comes as somewhat of a relief to finally see placements lower than that of a year ago. Since October 2021, placement numbers have been greater than those of a year ago, and by substantial measures. With drought limiting the availability of feed, producers have had to place cattle in feedlots more aggressively than what they have had to do in years past. And while that makes perfect sense, it's still 'feels' burdensome because, at some point in time, all those cattle are going to have to work their way out of the feedlot, and then what? One of producers' biggest fears moving forward is that there will be a glut of cattle to market, and it will negatively affect the cash cattle market. So even though the market has enormous numbers of cattle on feed, Friday's report signaled that, largely, the market's cattle have been placed in respect to drought purposes.

"Secondly, when viewing the weight brackets of cattle placed, the weights of cattle that were placed in January 2022 were much different than those that were placed in December 2021. When comparing Friday's data to that of a month ago (not a year ago), there were 115,000 head fewer placed weighing under 600 pounds to 699 pounds than a month ago, but of the weight groups ranging from 700 to 899 pounds, in January, there were 179,000 head more placed.

"And, lastly, seeing the dip in the number of cattle marketed in January 2022 isn't surprising, as omicron led to labor issues in packing plants and hindered production.

"All in all, seeing Friday's data is helpful in gauging the number of cattle that will need to be marketed later this year. But given the circumstances in which the market is trying to balance and analyze with Russia-Ukraine, it's not likely that Friday's COF report affects the market at all."


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 Feb. 1 101% 100.7% 100.1-101.7%
Placed in January 99% 98.6% 97.4-103.8%
Marketed in January 97% 97.1% 96.7-97.6%