WASHINGTON – Cattle and calves on feed were slightly higher on Jan. 1, 2017 compared to a year ago, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Cattle on Feed report.

In feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head, cattle and calves on feed totaled 10.6 million head on Jan. 1, 2017. This included 7.02 million steers and steer calves, down 2 percent from a year ago. Steers and steer calves accounted for 66 percent of the total inventory, according to NASS, while heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.58 million head which is an increase of 5 percent from 2016.

December 2015 placements in feedlots climbed 18 percent to total 1.80 million head. Net placements were 1.74 million head. For the month, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lbs. were 435,000 head, 600-699 lbs. were 450,000 head, 700-799 lbs. were 450,000 head and 800 lbs. and greater were 460,000 head, NASS reported.

Slaughter of fed cattle during December advanced 7 percent to 1.79 million head, while other disappearance dropped 29 percent to 55,000 head compared to December 2015.