USDA Cattle on Feed Report Preview

Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed Report Anticipated to Be Bearish, but Could Be Neutral at Best

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
USDA will release its Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed report on Friday. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Friday's Sept. 1 Cattle on Feed Report will be insightful in gauging how many feeders were placed in feedlots during August, as well as solidifying the number of cattle on feed.

When analyzing the Cattle on Feed reports for the remainder of the year, it's going to be important to remember that when the usual/historical cattle marketing system gets altered, the effects are long-lasting. It wouldn't be surprising to see high placement numbers for the rest of the year given the disruption of COVID-19 and the drought across the country that has incentivized many producers to pull calves/feeders off grass and send them to feedlots.

Secondly, evaluating exactly how many cattle are on feed will be crucial for feedlots, as marketing cattle remains extremely important. Though feedlots have worked their way through the backlog to current showlists, cattle that are in the feedlots are still adding significant tonnage to the marketplace, as they're weighing in heavier. With demand a looming concern for the rest of 2020 and potentially creeping into the first quarter of 2021, the additional tonnage could be problematic for the market to absorb as the food service industry is still restricted.

Friday's COF report will be neutral at best but has the likelihood of being quite bearish. Once again, the industry will be reminded that there are still a lot of cattle that need marketed, moved and processed between today's calendar date, the end of the year and eventually sent into the hands of consumers.

USDA will release the Cattle on Feed report at 2 p.m. CDT on Friday.

USDA Actual Average Estimate Range
On Feed Sept. 1 103.5% 102.2-103.9%
Placed in Aug. 106.0% 100.8-110.0%
Marketed in Aug. 96.7% 95.7-97.5%

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at shayle.stewart@dtn.com

ShayLe Stewart