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Cattle on feed up; placements, marketings down

Just over 12 million head of cattle and calves were on feed in feedlots 1,000-head or larger as of January 1 of this year, the highest inventory for this date in 11 years.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service released its monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon. As analysts expected, both marketings and feedlot placements, largely on account of the severe winter weather in much of the Plains region, are down. The latter declined for the fourth consecutive month.

"Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.71 million, nine percent below 2005 and seven percent below 2004. Net placements were 1.63 million," according to Friday's report. "Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.63 million, five percent below 2005 and nine percent below 2004. This is the lowest fed cattle marketings for the month of December since the series began in 1996."

Total steer and steer calf numbers are 7.57 million, accounting for 63% of the total inventory. Heifer and heifer calves accounted for 4.3 million head, a four-percent increase from a year ago.

Just over 12 million head of cattle and calves were on feed in feedlots 1,000-head or larger as of January 1 of this year, the highest inventory for this date in 11 years.

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