There were 2 million cattle at large Kansas feedlots on Oct. 1, down 10 percent from last year and the lowest total at this time of year since 1996, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Statistics Service.
During a prolonged drought, ranchers cut herds, sending more of their heifers and breeding cows to feedlots and then to slaughter, as pastures became unable to sustain livestock and feed costs rose. Over the past few months, ranchers have begun to rebuild their herds.
The number of cattle placed at Kansas feedlots in September was 390,000 head, up 4 percent from 2012. And the number of cattle sold for slaughter by feedlots was 355,000, up 15 percent from last year.