Red meat production hit record highs in December

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WASHINGTON – Total red meat and pork production were record high in December while commercial red meat production was up 3% for all of 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Livestock Slaughter report.

December commercial red meat production totaled 4,163 million lbs, up 3% from December 2007, the U.S.D.A. said. For the year, red meat production was 50,230 million lbs, also up 3%.

Pork production in December was 2,052 million lbs, up 4% from a year earlier. Commercial pork outturn for the year totaled 23,348 million lbs, up 6% from a year earlier. Commercial hog slaughter in December was 10,144,600 head, up 5% from December 2007, and totaled 116,457,500 head for all of 2008, up 7%.

Beef production was 2,082 million lbs in December, up 1% from a year earlier, and totaled 26,565 million lbs for all of 2008, also up 1% from 2007. Commercial cattle slaughter was 2,671,300 head in December, up 1% from the previous year, while total 2008 slaughter was 34,369,500 head, about even with 2007.

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