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CATTLE ON FEED UP 2%, HEIFERS ON FEED AT RECORD LOW
BrownfieldAgNews reports:

The USDA's cattle on feed numbers show some herd expansion and the improvement of pasture conditions around major feeding states.

The number of cattle and calves on feedlots larger than 1,000 head, bound for slaughter, as of July 1st, 2015 was 10.236 million head, 2% above the July 1st, 2014 figure. The biggest year to year increase was in Idaho, up 25%, while the biggest decrease was in Arizona, down 12%.

Steers came out at 6.909 million head, 7% larger than last year, and heifers were pegged at 3.327 million head, down 7% on the year. That's the lowest July 1st heifer total since the series of reports started in 1996. On all feedlots, cattle on feed totaled 12.100 million head, also up 2% on the year.

Placements on to feed were reported at 1.481 million head, up 1% from a year ago, and June marketings were 1.747 million head, a 5% decrease, a new all-time low for the month.

Other disappearances were 69,000 head, down 8% on the year.

The USDA reports the U.S. cattle inventory on July 1st, 2015 was 98.400 million head, 2% larger than on July 1st, 2014. That's the first July 1 inventory increase since 2006. This set of numbers also point to at least some herd expansion, with higher rates of heifer retention and bigger calf crop numbers.

All cows and heifers that have calved were 39.800 million head, up 2%. Beef cows were 30.500 million head, 3% higher, and milk cows were 9.300 million head, up 1%. The 2015 calf crop is projected at 34.300 million head, 1% more than 2014. During the first half of the year, the USDA estimates calf production at 24.800 million head.

Heifers weighing 500 pounds and heavier came out at 15.900 million head, 2% higher. Beef replacement heifers jumped 7% to 4.900 million head and milk replacement heifers were up 2% at 4.200 million, but other types of heifers were down 1% at 6.8 million head.

Steers from 500 pounds and up were 14.100 million head, a 3% increase, and bulls weighing 500 pounds and more were 1.900 million head, unchanged on the year.

Calves weighing less than 500 pounds were 26.700 million head, up 2%.


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