USDA’s November Cattle on Feed report comes out Friday, November 19th. The report is expected to indicate that about 3.6 percent more cattle were placed on feed in October than last October. Placements usually increase in the Fall to a peak in October. The South is a major calf producing region supplying feeder cattle to feedlots throughout cattle feeding country. On average, over the last few years, 73,726 cattle have entered Texas from Southern states in October. That data is from the Texas Animal Health Commission and represents non-breeding cattle in-shipments to the state with a veterinary certificate. It does not mean that all those cattle went directly to feedyards and it is likely an undercount of all cattle coming into Texas. Drought in some parts of the country and higher fed cattle prices are supporting placements.
Feedyard marketings are expected to be below last October by about 4.2 percent but, the decline in marketings is due to one less working, or slaughter, day in October 2021 versus October 2020. Daily average marketings should be about the same as a year ago. The combination of marketings and placements leaves the number of cattle on feed on November 1st at 99.9 percent of last year.
A lot of factors are at work in determining Southern calf prices, like higher fuel costs for trucking, higher fertilizer prices, and higher hay prices. Higher fed cattle prices are boosting the demand for calves and supporting prices.