USDA reports record pork production in March

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WASHINGTON – Pork production in the United States totaled 2.15 billion lbs., up 2 percent from a year ago, the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Livestock Slaughter report. Hog slaughter advanced 2 percent to total 10.9 million head. The average live weight eased 1 percent to 284 lbs.

Overall, commercial red meat production in the US advanced 5 percent to 4.26 billion lbs., compared with the 4.07 billion lbs. produced in 2015, USDA reported.

Beef production increased 8 percent to 2.10 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter was 6 percent higher in March 2016 at 2.53 percent. Average live weight increased 23 lbs. from the previous year, at 1,370 lbs.

Veal production dropped 8 percent compared to a year ago. Production for March totaled 6.4 million lbs., according to USDA. Calf slaughter dropped 10 percent to 35,900 head, while average live weight was up 7 lbs. from March 2015, at 302 lbs.

Lamb and mutton production eased in March at 14.3 million lbs. Sheep slaughter totaled 205,900 head, which was slightly higher than last year. The average live weight declined 1 lb. to 138 lbs.

Commercial red meat production from January to March was 12.2 billion lbs., which represents a decline of 3 percent from 2015, according to USDA. Accumulated beef production advanced 5 percent from last year, veal production declined 4 percent; pork increased 1 percent and lamb and mutton production climbed 1 percent from last year.

March 2015 contained 22 weekdays, including no holidays and four Saturdays, USDA reported, while March 2016 contained 23 weekdays, including no holidays and four Saturdays.

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