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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

David Anderson, Livestock Marketing Specialist at Texas A&M University, tells Brownfield the placements tell the tale in the most recent USDA cattle on feed report.

He says, "It's important to remember that last February was the smallest February cattle placements ever, but this time we're up 15% and what it really means is with total cattle on feed down 1% from a year ago, we're looking at, as we get into the summer, as those cattle are finishing, that we might see more cattle supplies. We'll get away from the tight supplies and get a little more beef on the market."

Anderson does caution that any expansion in the U.S. herd is going to be at least partially dependent on weather and feed costs.

USDA reports placements of cattle into feedlots during February were even larger than expected. Placements last month came out at 1.650 million head, up 15% on the year, and above the average estimate, which called for a 9.7% increase, taking advantage of record cash prices and lower feed costs.

Most of those placements were heavier weight cattle. Placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 390,000 head and 600 to 699 pound placements were 330,000 head, while 700 to 799 pound placements were 415,000 head and placements of cattle 800 pounds and heavier were 515,000 head.

Marketings during February were pegged at 1.549 million head, down 3% on the year and the lowest for the month since the series of reports began in 1996.

The total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. on March 1, 2014 was reported at 10.790 million head, 1% less than on March 1, 2013.

Other disappearances were 71,000 head, a year to year jump of 18%.

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