Iowa Public Television


Placement Activity Jumps at Feedlots

posted on May 20, 2005

Reports from the field indicate emergence of corn planted in April has been a problem. Cold, rainy weather caused the soil to crust in many areas, which made it difficult for even germinated corn to get out of the ground. As a result, farmers have begun replanting thousands of acres in parts of the Corn Belt. The weather-related concerns have influenced grain prices. We'll have more on that in a moment.

In the livestock sector, fundamentals still rule the day, with the markets trading this week in anticipation of the latest cattle on feed report.

Placement Activity Jumps at Feedlots Feedlot gates swung open wide in April as feeder cattle across the country moved off winter pasture. According to USDA, the number of cattle placed in feedlots last month stood at 104 percent of a year ago -- about 2 percent larger than the three-year average.

Other inventory numbers released Friday showed the number of cattle on feed as of May 1 at 103 percent of year-ago levels. The number of cattle marketed in April was 95 percent of last year.

The trade was expecting the increase in placements following a slow winter of feedlot activity. Analysts also anticipate many of the cattle coming to the lots are of the big variety -- 800 pounds or more.

With the inventory of fall calves getting larger, and with the quality of the crop running high, some warnings are being sounded on prices during autumn delivery.

Tags: agriculture animals beef cattle government livestock meat news USDA