December red meat production down slightly

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Total red meat production for the United States in December was down slightly from the previous year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Livestock Slaughter report.

December commercial red meat production totaled 4,147.5 million lbs in December, down slightly from 4,162.8 million lbs during the same month of the previous year, the U.S.D.A. said. This was up 5% from a revised 3,962.9 million lbs in November. Commercial red meat production for the entire year was 49,264.4 million lbs, down 2% from 50,224.6 million lbs in 2008.

Beef production was record high in December at 2,133.5 million lbs, up 6% from November and up 2% from December 2008. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, up 3% from 2.67 million head during the previous year. The average live weight of cattle at slaughter was 1,296 lbs in December, down 7 lbs from December 2008.

Dairy cow slaughter in December was 231,000 head, up from 209,000 head in November and 229,000 head in December 2008. Full-year dairy cow slaughter totaled 2,815,000 head, up 9% from 2,591,000 during the previous year.

Pork production in December was 1,985 million lbs, up 3% from the previous month but down 3% from December 2008. The average live weight of slaughter hogs in December was 270 lbs, unchanged from the previous year.

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