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The Midwest Cattleman · February 2, 2023 · P6
        Fewer Heifers in Feedlots...Finally!

                                                         By Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University
         The January Cattle on Feed  lower December marketings
      report     from    USDA-NASS may reflect delayed shipments
      showed the fourth consecutive  due to the December winter
      month of declining feedlot in- storm.
      ventories starting in October.        December placements were
      The January 1 on-feed total  down 8.0 percent year over
      for feedlots with capacity of  year, also as expected.  Monthly
      1,000 head or more was down  feedlot placements were down
      2.9 percent year over year.   year over year in nine of the
      The January 1 feedlot total of  twelve months of 2022.  Total
      11.682 million head was larger  placements the last six months
      than the December 2022 total  from July – December, which
      by a scant 9,000 head but still  accounts for almost all cattle in
      below the November total of  the feedlots currently, is down
      11.696 million head.   It looks  3.1 percent from last year.
      increasingly like the early           The latest report also includ- since July 2021.  Large heifer  ages 122.9
      November seasonal peak will  ed the quarterly breakdown of  numbers in feedlots supported  percent                 of
      hold.  If so, the November total  steers and heifers in feedlots.   the 4.8 percent year over year      the month-
      was 4.1 below the previous sea- The steer total on January 1  increase in heifer slaughter in  ly January
      sonal peak in February 2022  was down 4.5 percent year over  2022 and was the largest heifer  1 total and
      and suggests sharply tighter  year.   Steers in feedlots have  slaughter total since 2004.  The  a c c o u n t s
      feedlot numbers going forward.  decreased on a year over year  decrease in feedlot heifers does  for            feed-
         December marketings were  basis for 6 of the last 7 quar- not, at this point, reflect heif- lots smaller
      down 6.1 percent year over  ters going back to July 2021.   er retention but simply a lack  than 1,000
      year, close to pre-report expec- The feedlot heifer inventory  of heifers due to large heifer  head capacity.    This suggests
      tations. The marketings num- on January 1 was down by 0.5  slaughter the past two years.                that the January 1 U.S. feedlot
      ber is in line with December  percent year over year.    This           The Cattle report to be re- inventory is expected to be 14.4
      fed (steer + heifer) slaughter,  is a small decrease but sig- leased on January 31 will in- million head, down 2.3 percent
      which was down 5.9 percent  nificant as it is the first year  clude a feedlot total for all  from 2022.
      year over year. Feedlots appear  over year quarterly decrease  feedlots.  The total U.S. feedlot
      to still be current though the  in feedlot heifer inventories  inventory for January 1 aver-

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