April red meat production rises 6%

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production in the United States totaled 4.09 billion lbs. in April, an increase of 6 percent from the 3.86 billion lbs. produced in April 2012, the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.

Beef production was 7 percent higher at 2.13 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.73 million head, up 6 percent from a year ago. The average live weight advanced 14 lbs. from the previous year, to 1,295 lbs.

Veal production declined 8 percent to 9.1 million lbs. Calf slaughter totaled 58,600 head, up 4 percent from April a year ago. The average live weight declined 29 lbs. from last year, to 266 lbs.

Pork production totaled 1.94 billion pounds, up 5 percent from April 2012. Hog slaughter gained 6 percent to total 9.36 million head. The average live weight slipped 1 lb. from the previous year, to 277 lbs.

Lamb and mutton production was up 4 percent to 13.4 million lbs. Sheep slaughter totaled 191,700 head, 6 percent above April 2012. The average live weight was 140 lbs., down 2 lbs. from April a year ago.

January to April 2013 commercial red meat production increased slightly to 16.1 billion lbs. Accumulated beef production climbed slightly compared to last year, veal was down 6 percent, pork was up slightly from 2012 and lamb and mutton production declined 1 percent.
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