Pacific Northwest Feedlots Relatively Full

Pacific Northwest Feedlots Relatively Full

Last week the USDA released their monthly Cattle on Feed Report and as expected -- no real good or new news. One million - 480,000 head of cattle were placed into feedlots in February. That is down 14 percent from last February leap year numbers. That is the lowest February placement number since USDA began recording this information in 1996.

Marketings out of feedlots were down 7 percent, which still leaves feedlots with 10.9 million head, 7 percent less than a year ago. Analysts say two factors likely going into those low placement numbers are the tighter cattle supplies and the fact that many feedlots are facing poor returns and may not be aggressively seeking out more cattle at this time.

With a regional perspective Executive Director of the Washington Cattle Feeders Association Ed Field shares what is happening in feedlots within the Pacific Northwest.

Field: “Checking with my membership, they are pretty full for this time of year, for early spring. Went through the winter, everybody was as full as they wanted to be.”

That may change, however, Field says as we move into summer.

Field: “But going forward, looking into summer it is kind of in the air right now. They’ve taken several turns of losses. It is kind of a big question mark right now. Feed costs continue to be extremely high, replacement cattle prices are high. It is just a matter of how much loss or what level they want to continue losing on their fed cattle.” 

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