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Report May Show Record-Low Cattle Placements

Spencer, IA: The number of young cattle placed into U.S. feed yards in August is predicted to be the lowest on record for the month, according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal .

Analysts surveyed ahead of today’s cattle-on-feed report said high feed costs this summer gave little incentive for feedlot operators to quickly place young cattle on the bunks. Add to that the cool, wet conditions for much of the Farm Belt over the summer which has contributed to favorable pasture conditions and caused producers to hold their calves on pasture longer than usual.

The survey found placement estimates ranging from 1.9% above to 13.5% below a year earlier, with the average guess down 8.4% from a year ago. Placements of 1.84 million head would be up from the two previous months but represent the lowest August placement number since the monthly USDA estimates began in 1996.

The cattle-on-feed report will be released Friday at 2:00 p.m. CDT.