This isn’t good….
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Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.1 million head on October 1, 2014. The inventory was 1 percent below October 1, 2013, according to the USDA’s October Cattle on Feed report. Feedyard inventories have run below year-ago totals every month so far this year as buyers compete for continued short supplies of feeder cattle.

The inventory included 6.46 million steers and steer calves, up 1 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 64 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.55 million head, down 3 percent from 2013. Favorable weather, lower feed prices and an outlook for continued high cattle values appear to be encouraging some ranchers to retain more heifers for breeding. That trend likely will further limit placement numbers in the coming months and keep feedyard inventories below those of a year earlier.