Red meat production declines in 2013

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Total red meat production totaled 49.3 billion lbs. in 2013, slightly lower compared to 2012, the US Department of Agriculture noted in its Livestock Slaughter report. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 49.2 billion lbs., while on-farm slaughter totaled 95.6 million lbs.

Beef production was down 1 percent to 25.8 billion lbs. Veal production totaled 118 million lbs., down 6 percent from a year ago. Pork production was slightly lower at 23.2 billion lbs. Lamb and mutton production advanced slightly to 161 million lbs.

Commercial cattle slaughter for 2013 totaled 32.5 million head, down 1 percent with federal inspection comprising 98.4 percent of the total, according to USDA. The average live weight was 1,314 lbs., up 12 lbs. from a year ago. Steers comprised 50.1 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 28.6 percent, dairy cows 9.8 percent, other cows 9.8 percent and bulls 1.7 percent.

Commercial calf slaughter declined 1 percent to 762,000 head with 98.6 percent under federal inspection. The average live weight dropped 10 lbs. to 250 lbs. compared to 2012, USDA reported.

Commercial hog slaughter was 1 percent lower compared to a year ago at 112.1 million head. USDA reported 99.3 percent of the hogs were slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was up 1 lb. from 2012, at 276 lbs. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.0 percent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter was up 6 percent to 2.32 million head, with 91.4 percent by federal inspection. The average live weight dropped 8 lbs. from 2012 at 135 lbs. Lambs and yearlings comprised 93.7 percent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.
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