Kansas July Fed Cattle Weights Turn Higher

Fed cattle weights from Kansas feedlots turned higher in July, two months later than usual, according to Kansas State University Extension survey data.

The K-State Extension service surveys select feedlots around the state.  The data is extrapolated to represent the entire state, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center compiles the data into usable graphs.

The data show that for July, the average weight of steers heading to the packing plant from Kansas feed yards weighed 1,370 pounds, up 38 pounds, or 2.85%, from this year’s low of 1,332 pounds set in June.

However, final weights of steers sold to packers for slaughter in July remained well below last year and the 2011-2015 average.  July’s feedlot exit weight of 1,370 pounds was 54 pounds, or 3.79%, below last year’s 1,424 pounds, and 14.6 pounds, or 1.05%, behind the five-year average of 1,384.6 pounds.

If weights continue to follow seasonal norms, weights should climb into late fall or early winter.




But to get the extra weight into those July cattle, feedlots had to keep them on feed longer than normal – to the point of making a counter-seasonal turn higher in the number of days on feed.

The average number of days July’s fed cattle spent on feed was 168, up six, or 3.70%, from 162 in June.  More importantly, days on feed were up 13, or 8.39%, from 155 in both July of 2016 and the previous five-year average.

Feedlots fought a strong seasonal to keep the cattle on feed longer, and will be fighting an even stronger seasonal if August’s sales to packers continues an upward path.

The average daily gain for cattle sold in May, June and July was below last year and the previous five-year average and could explain part of why cattle were kept at the feed bunk longer before being sold in July, even though the low point in average daily gain came right on schedule for the cattle sold in May.

K-State data show that the average daily gain for July marketings was 3.47 pounds, up 0.09 pound, or 2.66%, from June’s 3.38 pounds, but 0.23 pound, or 6.22%, below last year’s 3.7 pounds and 0.24 pound, or 6.57%, behind the 2011-2015 average of 3.714 pounds.

Feeding efficiency declined seasonally for the July marketings but remained well above last year and the previous five-year average.

While they were on feed, the July marketings from Kansas feedlots consumed 6.12 pounds of feed on a dry-matter basis for every pound they gained.  This was 0.14 pound, or 2.34%, above last year’s 5.98 pounds and 0.298 pound, or 5.12%, above the 2011-2015 average of 5.822 pounds.




Cattle traded Wednesday on the livestock exchange video auction at $105.10 per cwt on a live basis for 1- to 9-day delivery and at $105 live and $166 dressed for 1- to 17-day delivery.

Cash trading was reported at $104 to mostly $105 per cwt on a live basis, down $2 from last week.  Cattle traded in Nebraska’s dressed market at mostly $165 up to $166, down $7 from last week.

The USDA’s choice cutout Thursday was up $0.57 per cwt at $191.91, while select was up $0.22 at $191.34.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $0.57 from $0.60 with 86 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $142.91 per cwt, down $0.43.  This compares with Thursday’s Aug settlement at $142.72, down $0.17, and the Sep settlement of $142.57, down $1.17.