Red Meat Production Remains At Record High Levels, Cattle Weights Increase

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Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.36 billion pounds in December, up 5 percent from the 4.15 billion pounds produced in December 2009.

Beef production, at 2.27 billion pounds, was 6 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.92 million head, up 6 percent from December 2009. The average live weight was up 9 pounds from the previous year, at 1,305 pounds.

Veal production totaled 11.7 million pounds, 11 percent below December a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 77,700 head, down 16 percent from December 2009. The average live weight was up 21 pounds from last year, at 261 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.06 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the previous year. Hog kill totaled 9.93 million head, up 1 percent from December 2009. The average live weight was up 7 pounds from the previous year, at 277 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 15.0 million pounds, was down 6 percent from December 2009. Sheep slaughter totaled 217,300 head, 8 percent below last year. The average live weight was 138 pounds, up 2 pounds from December a year ago.

January to December 2010 commercial red meat production was 49.1 billion pounds, down slightly from 2009. Accumulated beef production was up 1 percent from last year, veal was down 3 percent, pork was down 2 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 4 percent.

Source: USDA



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