Cattle on Feed Report Summary

April 1 Cattle on Feed Up 2%

USDA released its April 1 Cattle on Feed report on Thursday. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)

This article was originally posted at 2:03 p.m. CDT. It was last updated at 2:17 p.m. CDT.


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 12.0 million head on April 1, 2019. The inventory was 2% above April 1, 2018, USDA reported Thursday.

This is the highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.45 million steers and steer calves, down 1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.51 million head, up 8% from 2018.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 2.01 million head, 5% above 2018. Net placements were 1.95 million head. During March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 325,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 300,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 595,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 539,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 1.78 million head, 3% below 2018.

Other disappearance totaled 69,000 head during March, 3% above 2018.

"The increase in placements as well as the combined growth in overall fed cattle numbers is expected to negatively affect trade values early Monday once futures trade opens following the long holiday weekend," said DTN Analyst Rick Kment. "Cattle marketed in March were slightly higher than early estimates, but still fell 3% from year-ago levels based on adverse weather conditions, limiting gain in many areas of the country. The lower marketed level is not expected to offset the pressure of growing cattle supplies."


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USDA Actual Average Guess Range
On Feed April 1 102.0% 101.8% 100.4-102.2%
Placed in March 105.0% 103.8% 97.9-106.0%
Marketed in March 97.0% 96.8% 95.7-98.4%