November feedyard placements reflect impact of drought


Friday’s Cattle on Feed report from USDA shows December 1 inventories of cattle in feedyards with 1,000-head capacity or more at 11.3 million head, down 6 percent from 12.1 million head one year ago. December 1 inventories were, however, 1 percent larger than those of a month ago on November 1 2012.

Placements into feedyards during November totaled 1.92 million head, also down 6 percent from a year earlier, when placements totaled 2.03 million.

Marketings of finished cattle from feedyards, at 1.76 million head during November, fell 1 percent short of those during November 2011.

November placement s by weight class reflect the impact of the 2012 drought, as many lightweight calves shipped to feedyards earlier than usual this year. Also, where forage is available, market signals favor growing cattle to heavier weights on grass and reducing time in the feedyard where cost of gain is exceptionally high. During November, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds fell 14 percent below those in November 2011. Placements in the 600- to 699-pound range dropped by 10 percent from those a year earlier. In the 700- to 799-pound class, the 375,000 cattle placed during November fell within a half of a percentage point of the 377,000 placed in November 2011. At 453,000 head, feedyards placed more cattle weighing 800 pounds or more than they did during November 2011, when the total was 410,000.

Read the full report from USDA.