The Woodward News

Local News

August 23, 2012

Cattle on feed decrease

Woodward, Okla. — OKLAHOMA CITY - The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported recently that the July inventory of cattle on feed was down by 11 percent over last year's figure.

However, NASS Statistician Katy Carlson said the total of 320,000 was unchanged from June.

Placement stock fell by 21 percent from July 2011 to this year, at 68,000. Cattle in placement are those brought into a feedlot to be put on full feeding rations.

Fed cattle marketings, at 66,000, were an 11 percent decrease from last year at the same time.

Jerry Nine, owner of Woodward Livestock Auction, said the dry weather has been responsible for the year-to-year decrease, and it has affected sale counts.

"We normally average about 6,000 head on Fridays," he said. "The last couple of months, it's been around 4,000."

Supply and demand has kept prices high, Nine said, but the cost to cattlemen for getting their stock ready to be marketed through a feedlot has also gone up. That has diminished any price gains producers may have experienced.

"Grain has gone really high," he said. "So in the long run, it costs more to feed the cattle."

Nine said this time of year is usually too late for rain to spur grass growth, "but there was a time a couple of years ago when the rain came late, and it really helped."

He said the lack of moisture is the No. 1 problem cattlemen face right now, as there is little grazing ability. That forces producers to put their animals in the feedlots and pay the added expenses.

Carlson said NASS surveys feedlots with a capacity of at least 1,000 cows and then publicizes the results.

"We don't do predictions on the ramifications of the survey numbers," she said.

The Oklahoma report may be viewed at nass.usda.gov/ok, said State NASS Director Wilbert Hundl Jr. For more information, contact him at the USDA-NASS Oklahoma Field Office, toll-free, at (800) 525-9226, or nass-oklahoma@nass.usda.gov.

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