USDA reports 4% decline in red meat production
WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production declined 4 percent to 4.20 billion lbs. in August compared to the 4.39 billion lbs. produced in August 2012, the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.
January to August 2013 commercial red meat production was down slightly to 32.5 billion lbs. Accumulated beef production eased 1 percent from last year, veal was down 6 percent, pork was down slightly from a year ago and lamb and mutton production increased 2 percent.
Beef production was 5 percent below the previous year at 2.24 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter was down 6 percent to 2.82 million head compared to August 2012, NASS reported. The average live weight was up 10 lbs. to 1,310 lbs.
Veal production declined 11 percent to 9.1 million lbs. compared to a year ago. Calf slaughter was down 11 percent to 64,500 head. The average live weight climbed 3 lbs. from last year, to 240 lbs.
Pork production was 3 percent below August 2012 to 1.94 billion lbs. Hog slaughter totaled 9.56 million head, down 4 percent from last year, according to NASS. The average live weight was up 2 lbs. from the previous year, at 271 lbs.
Lamb and mutton production reached 13.8 million lbs., which was down 3 percent from August 2012. Sheep slaughter increased 4 percent to 208,100 head. The average live weight dropped 9 percent to 133 lbs.