Industry At A Glance: Cattle-On-Feed - Shifting Regional Differences

Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota now represent nearly 40% of the top 10 inventory, vs. just 36% in 2000.

Nevil Speer

June 17, 2014

2 Min Read
Industry At A Glance:  Cattle-On-Feed - Shifting Regional Differences
<p><span style="line-height: 20px; font-size: 13.33px;">The top 10 cattle feeding states represent about 86% of the total on-feed population.</span></p>

Late last year, National Beef announced plans to close its Brawley, CA, plant this spring. Meanwhile, Iowa beef producers are eagerly anticipating the Oct. 1 reopening of the Tama, IA, beef plant. These two events serve as a good opportunity to review some of the beef industry’s geographical differences; namely, the ongoing shift of regional differences within the cattle-on-feed population.

The accompanying graph reflects Jan. 1 cattle-on-feed inventories for the top 10 cattle feeding states, which represent about 86% of the total on-feed population. Not surprisingly, the overall inventory within these 10 states has declined nearly 890,000 head during the past 14 years. However, there are some important trends that exist within that broader trend.

Top 10 Cattle Feeding States: Jan 1 Cattle-On-Feed Inventory

The largest decline has occurred in the Texas/Oklahoma region, representing a loss of nearly 630,000 head. Meanwhile, Kansas represents an additional decline of 240,000 head, and Colorado has 210,000 fewer head in 2014 vs. 2000.

Conversely, Nebraska has maintained steady numbers.  Furthermore, the regions comprising California/Arizona and Iowa/South Dakota/Minnesota have increased by 97,000 and 95,000 head, respectively.

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Clearly, the Brawley plant closure represents potential for shift of the California/Arizona feedyard inventory. Simultaneously, the feeding population continues to make a slow migration back to the Corn Belt states: Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota now represent nearly 40% of the top 10 inventory (vs. just 36% in 2000).

What impact might this have on the processing industry going forward? This trend is also important to feeder cattle basis in the future. Finally, how do you foresee all of this playing out and the influence on the feeding sector over time? Leave your thoughts below.  


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About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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