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Abstract

The USDA seven states Cattle on Feed report provides significant market information to all stages of the cattle industry. Considerable effort has been spent both by public agencies and private industry to improve on the accuracy and timing of this information. Because this information has an impact on the market, many efforts have been made to forecast it prior to its release. A key question is if a more comprehensive data set were available, could more accurate forecasts of the information in the USDA report be completed in a timely manner. This effort uses traditional time series forecasting methods to examine models using both public and private information to forecast monthly fed cattle marketings. The public information model uses data for current and past releases of the USDA seven state Cattle on Feed report. The private information model consists of daily pen level transactions for over eighty-five feedlots covering eight states. Based on physical data in the private data set describing animal placement weight and date, the expected slaughter dates of current cattle inventories are forecasted and used to project future slaughter. This projected slaughter data is then used to forecast information in the USDA report beyond the current report. Preliminary results indicate that the public model augmented with private data provides marginally improved marketing forecasts for the current period.

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