As many market analysts predicted, Friday's Cattle on Feed Report was a whopper: 11 million head as of Sept. 1. That's 10% larger than the same time in 2004 and 2005. It's the largest Sept. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Also unsurprisingly, August placements were huge: 15% more than a year ago and 9% more than in 2004. In fact, 67% more cattle lighter than 600 lbs. were placed compared to a year ago.

Last week's monthly "World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates" raised the estimated average annual Choice fed-steer price slightly from a month earlier: $85-$86 compared to $82-$84 in the August report. The estimated average price for the fourth quarter is $85-$89.

"The cattle price forecast is raised from last month as the slower pace of fed cattle marketings is supporting prices at higher than expected levels," explains the report.

Shorter term, last week the USDA's Economic Research Service reported, "Recent rains in the Southern Plains have improved prospects for winter pastures, which could mean reduced beef cow slaughter. Seasonal increases in cow slaughter will likely be reduced as much culling has already occurred, along with early weaning, due to drought. Improving grazing prospects, particularly for small grain pasture, will provide increased competition for relatively low feeder cattle supplies, at least in the near term.

Reduced cow slaughter should provide support for cow prices, and increased competition should provide support for feeder cattle prices."

Overall, the futures market for cattle suffered significantly last week, while feeder cattle sold $5 lower compared to the prior week -- steer and heifer calves were $3-$6 lower. Yet, by Friday afternoon, fed cattle sales gained 50 cents at $88.50 to $89.50.

The summary below reflects the week ended Sept. 22 for Medium and Large 1 -- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb. feeder heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in descending order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:

Summary Table
State Volume Steers Heifers
Calf Weight 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs. 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs.
MO 36,400 $134.06 $124.64 $121.14 $119.95 $116.08 $110.90
OK 35,300 $129.37 $124.50 $122.794 $118.06 $114.36 $109.75
TX 32,500 $120.53 $112.35 $108.90 $113.13 $107.01 $102.56
KY* 26,900 $118-128 $107-117 $104-1145 $106-116 $99-1093 $93-1045
AL 17,800 $117-126 $108-117 $107-1144 $108-115 $100-107 $93-1005
Dakotas 16,300
South Dakota
North Dakota

$140.88
$131.53

$134.742
$127.89

$118.33
$118.50

$130.43
$122.05

$125.042
$115.042

$115.426
$106.294
TN* 14,400 $118.49 $110.53 $104.18 $107.73 $101.41 $97.25
NE 13,500 $138.34 $127.62 $123.07 $125.22 $120.73 $117.47
AR 12,400 $118.45 $112.16 $107.77 $109.93 103.85 $105.194
GA*(***) 10,800 $103-124 $98-115 $91-106 $100-116 $89-110.50 $88-994
FL* 10,500 $96-17 $94-106 $89-196 $95-109 $86-99 $80-964
MS* 9,400 $110-1201 $100-110 $97-1004 $100-1101 $90-100 $85-904
WY* 9,100 $131.58 $117.924 $121.47 $119.27 $117.73 $113.92
KS 6,700 $133.72 $120.50 $116.07 $121.73 $109.79 $110.12
IA 6,500 $136.34 $132.52 $128.754 $127.62 $1218.28 $112.19
CO 6,300 $131.23 $120.86 $115.854 $119.43 $110.85 $112.564
LAND 6,300 $107-124 $102-1172 ** $100-123 $98-1162 **
Carolinas* 5,500 $107-124.50 $99-116.503 $92-108.505 $99-114 $88-1083 $85-102.505
VA 5,400 $122.15 $115.42 $108.40 $106.68 $104.84 $98.61
NM 2,800 $118.92 $109.92 ** $114.96 $100.97 **
WA* 2,400 $122.37 $111.43 $106.816 $110.99 $103.60 $103.424

* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
NDNo Description
1500-600 lbs.
2550-600 lbs.
3600-700 lbs.
4650-700 lbs.
5700-800 lbs.
6750-800 lbs.
7800-850 lbs.