WASHINGTON – Commercial red-meat production totaled 4.17 billion lbs. in March, down 4 percent from the 4.35 billion lbs. produced in March 2011, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Beef production was 5 percent below levels in 2011 at 2.16 billion lbs., NASS said. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, down 7 percent from March 2011. The average live weight increased 23 lbs. from the previous year, at 1,299 lbs.

Veal production slipped 18 percent to 10.0 million lbs., according to NASS. Calf slaughter totaled 59,400 head, down 19 percent from March 2011. The average live weight declined 1 lb. from 2011 to 283 lbs.
Pork production totaled 1.99 billion lbs., down 3 percent from 2011 levels. Hog slaughter totaled 9.52 million head, down 4 percent from March 2011, NASS said. The average live weight increased 1 lb. to 279 lbs.

Lamb and mutton production, at 14.2 million lbs., was up 1 percent from March 2011, according to NASS. Sheep slaughter totaled 190,200 head, a decline of 2 percent compared to 2011. The average live weight was 149 lbs., up 3 lbs. from March 2011.

NASS said January to March 2012 commercial red meat production was 12.2 billion lbs., up slightly from 2011. Accumulated beef production was down 2 percent from 2011, veal was down 9 percent, pork was up 2 percent from 2011 and lamb and mutton production advanced 7 percent.