July 22

In Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report, the USDA said new placements onto feedlots in June were down 2.3% from a year ago, but that the July 1st feedlot inventory, at 11.49M head, was still 1.8% above last year. May/June have traditionally been seasonally large placements months, as feeders move off wheat pasture in the Southern Plains. However, excellent pasture conditions, combined with higher feed costs, are giving producers an incentive extended grazing season - and to feed cattle to higher weights. That should translate to 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 $107.60/cwt. Forward futures contracts for 2020 are averaging $113.95. In the July WASDE report, the USDA projected 2020 at $119.00/cwt.

Sheena Levi