Cattle On Feed Bounce Higher Than Anticipated

America’s feedlots had 11,725,000 head on hand to start May, a larger-than-expected jump from last year’s Covid-induced drop in populations. The month report from USDA indicated that placements during April were up 27 percent from a year ago at 1,821,000, while the number of cattle marketed increased 33 percent at 1,938,000. This month’s population was the second-largest May population on record, nearly 80,000 behind the level set in 2019.

Feedlots in Kansas started May with 2,470,000 head on hand, up six percent from a year ago and 90,000 head higher than two years ago. Placements totaled 435,000 head, 23 percent better than a year ago but down 11 percent from April and in line with 2019’s figures. Marketings also totaled 435,000 head, up 40 percent from a year ago and slightly better than two years ago.