6/24 – In Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report, the USDA said new placements onto feedlots in May were down 2.8% from a year ago, but that the June 1st feedlot inventory, at 11.74M head, was still 1.6% above last year. May has traditionally been a month for seasonally large placements as feeders begin moving off wheat pasture in the Southern Plains. However, excellent pasture conditions this year, combined with higher feed costs, are giving producers an incentive extend grazing season - and to feed cattle to higher weights. That means larger placement numbers at heavier weights for the summer months. Cattle futures, which hit $129.90/cwt during the March flooding in Nebraska, declined in early May and are currently $106.55/cwt. Forward futures contracts for 2020 are averaging just $110.25. In the 6/11 WASDE report, the USDA projected 2020 at $119.00/cwt.