October Kansas Feedlot Marketings Higher

Kansas feedlots are stepping up their sales to packers, pushing October marketings to the highest level this year and to more than double the 2010-2014 average, according to a Kansas State University monthly survey.

On average, Kansas feedlots sold 6,195 head to packers in October, 574, or 10.2%, more than the next highest monthly total this year.  The second-highest sales level was 5,621 head in March.

The October sales rate also was 2,369 head, or 61.9%, more than the October 2015 level of 3,826 head.  It also was up 3,177, or 105.3%, above the previous five-year average of 3,018 head.

The data is gathered by the K-State Extension service from representative feedlots across the state and then extrapolated to get the final number.  The data is then compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.




To attain those higher rates of sale to the packers, feedlots sold them at weights that were lower than last year and about steady with July of this year.  With a few variations, closeout weights have tended to draw a more seasonal arc on line graphs all year, although at a higher level.

October’s average Kansas per-head closeout weight was 1,426 pounds, down two from September and up two from July.  August weights actually took a counter-seasonal downturn to 1,416 pounds.

October’s average weight of 1,426 pounds was 46 pounds, or 3.13%, lower than last year’s 1,472 pounds.  However, it still was 37 pounds, or 2.66%, above the 2010-2014 average of 1,389 pounds.

To accomplish the goal of selling cattle at lower weights than last year, feedlots had to resort to a more traditional number of days the cattle spent munching feed.  Days on feed for September sales took an unusual bump up from August to 156, but by October had resumed a normal trend toward fewer days on feed by dropping to 152.

If days on feed continue to trend along the five-year average, they will bottom with November’s sales to the packers.  The 2010-2014 average number of days on feed was 141.2.

The number of days on feed next year are liable to run below the five-year average in most months because the 2010-2014 average will become the 2011-2015 average, taking in last year’s tendency to feed cattle for longer periods to attain heavier weights.




After selling in the Superior auction $1 to $2 per cwt lower at an average of $110.31, down $2.20 from last week.  The prices ranged from $111.75 to $112 in the south to $109 to $111 in the north, cash action got underway with a few Texas sales at $111.75 to $112 on a live basis.  No dressed-basis trading was reported, although they sold last week at mostly $175.

At the auction, there were 4,613 head unsold and 3,401 sold as sellers drug their feet at the bid prices.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was $1.57 per cwt lower at $188.94, while select was off $1.51 at $171.72.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $17.22 from $17.28 with 137 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $131.40 per cwt, up $0.33.  This compares with Wednesday’s Jan settlement at $126.97, up $0.12.