Last week’s October Cattle on Feed report showed what many expected: that feedyard placements continued to decline through September. In fact, placements into feedyards with 1,000-head capacity or more fell 19 percent below those during September 2011.

Primary reasons for the short placements, which follow two months of declines, include a shortage of available feeder cattle, as many shipped to feedyards early due to drought. Also, the high cost of gain in feedyards is pushing available cattle toward winter grazing.

In a podcast from Purdue University, Extension economist Chris Hurt, PhD, says the short placements, resulting in cattle on-feed numbers 3 percent lower than one year ago, support the expected reduction in per capita beef supplies of about three percent through the first-half of 2013. As a result, Hurt expects finished cattle prices to continue to rise this year and into 2013.