WASHINGTON – Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.0 million head on Oct. 1, 2012, which represents a decline of 3 percent compared to a year ago, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

The inventory was up slightly from 2011 and included 6.96 million steers and steer calves. This accounted for 63 percent of the total inventory, according to NASS. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.97 million head, down 8 percent from 2011.

Placements in feedlots during September declined 19 percent to 2 million. NASS said this is the lowest cattle placements for September since the series began in 1996. Net placements were 1.94 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lbs. were 515,000, 600-699 lbs. were 355,000, 700-799 lbs. were 444,000 and 800 lbs. and greater were 690,000.

Marketings of fed cattle declined 12 percent during September to 1.60 million. This is the second-lowest cattle marketings for the month of September since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance declined 14 percent to 64,000 during September.