Fewer, smaller feedlots responsible for more cattle

Fewer, smaller feedlots responsible for more cattle

Feedlots with capacities of less than 1,999 head are feeding more cattle: 6.5% more cattle inventory than two years earlier and 5.8% more than the previous year.

Although the number of feedlots with 1,000 head or fewer were 2,000 less in 2015 than in 2013, the inventory in those yards was 7.2% more at 2.6 million head. That’s according to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, released with Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.

Likewise, there were 10.8% more feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 to 1,999 head than two years ago and 5.1% more of them than last year. Inventory in these yards Jan. 1 (355,000 head) was 3.5% more than two years earlier but 10.4% less than last year.

Combined, feedlots with 1,999 head or fewer capacity had 6.5% more cattle inventory than two years earlier and 5.8% more than the previous year.

Keep in mind, yards with 1,999 or fewer head Jan. 1 represented 13.1% of the total inventory, but it was only 9.5% of the total two years ago.

By way of comparison, there were 2,189 feedlots last year with a capacity of 1,000 head or more. That was 2.9% more than a year earlier and 4.7% more than two years earlier. Inventory in these feedlots Jan. 1 of this year (10.58 million head) was just about 0.5% more than two years earlier but about 0.5% less than the previous year.

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The category showing the steepest decline was feedlots with 32,000 to 49,999 head. There were 57 feedlots of that size, which was 9.5% fewer than two years earlier and 12.3% fewer than the previous year. The Jan. 1 inventory in those yards was 8.1% less than two years earlier and 12.5% less than a year earlier.

Compared to a year earlier, total capacity of feedlots with 1,000 head or more was unchanged Jan. 1 of this year at 16.9 million head. In fact, it was at about that same level the previous two years, too.

 

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