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U.S. cattle on feed at highest level in 10 years

The number of cattle on feed in the U.S. is at its highest level in a decade.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday, indicating there were 12.0 million head of cattle and calves on feed as of November 1 of this year. At the highest level since 1996, this is four percent higher than a year ago and six percent above the same time in 2004.

October feedlot placements, on the other hand, are hedging toward the other end of the spectrum at levels near the lowest for placements since USDA has tracked cattle on feed numbers. For the month, 2.43 million head were placed in feedlots, down 13% from last year and 10% from 2004. Net placements were 2.34 million head.

"This is the second lowest placements for the month of October since the series began in 1996," according to Friday's report.

Fed cattle marketings for October were closer to average. The 1.77 million-head total for the month was two percent above the 2005 level but two percent below 2004.

The number of cattle on feed in the U.S. is at its highest level in a decade.

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