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USDA says cattle placements into feedlots set a new record high last month.

Audio file

Participants: Gary Crawford and USDA livestock analyst, Mike McConnell


A record high number of cattle placed into feedlots in February.

The USDA reporting placements last month at 1.9 million head, up 10 percent from February a year ago.

USDA Livestock Analyst Mike McConnell says most folks were not expecting that large of an increase, but consider this.

In January, we actually had a relatively low placement number.

That was due to the winter storms that we had across the Midwest that came in early January, which delayed some of those placements.

So some of the increase that we saw in placements during February was the fact that we were making up for some of the weather incidents that occurred during January.

Also, according to Mike McConnell, Prices for feeder cattle are also very strong, but they're also at historic levels.

So lots have been set up to sell and take advantage of those high prices.

They are about a third higher than this time a year ago.

Gary Crawford reporting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.