A preview of Friday’s Cattle Inventory report


A preview of Friday’s Cattle Inventory report

A livestock economist expects this week’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report from the USDA to show a reduction in all cattle and calves in the US.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says beef cow slaughter for 2020 was 78,000 ahead of 2019 levels.  “That tells me less cows in 2021.  As well as when you look at the latest Cattle on Feed report, the percentage of heifers in the feed yard are sitting there at about 38 percent.”

He tells Brownfield that suggests cattle producers aren’t holding back heifers to build the herd.  “If you look back at the period where we grew the quickest we were talking about only 31 percent of Cattle on Feed being heifers in 2015,” he says. 

Brown says a reduction to the cattle inventory would likely be supportive to prices for last half of 2021.

The USDA released its Cattle on Feed report last Friday and the total number of cattle on feed in the US was 12 million head, a slight year-over-year increase.