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US cattle on feed April 1 up 2% on year, 1.4% on month: USDA

Houston — The number of US cattle on feed totaled 11.964 million head on April 1, up 2% from 11.729 million head on the year-ago date, the Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

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The latest total was up 1.4% from 11.796 million head on March 1, USDA said.

The states with the largest inventory of cattle on feed were Texas, at 2.85 million head, Nebraska at 2.58 million head and Kansas at 2.38 million head.

Cattle on feed are steers and heifers being fed a ration of grain, mostly corn, silage, hay and/or a protein supplement such as DDGS or soybean-meal, ahead of slaughter. It excludes cattle held back for later sale to feedlots, and only feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 animals, or more, are considered.

The cattle on feed data is an indicator of US demand for corn and DDGS.

-- Sergio Alvarado, sergio.alvarado@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Derek Sands, newsdesk@spglobal.com