WASHINGTON — Commercial red meat production advanced in July by 4 percent to total 3.94 billion lbs. compared to 3.79 billion lbs. produced in July 2011, according to the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Beef production gained 3 percent to total 2.20 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.79 million head, up 1 percent from July 2011, NASS said. The average live weight increased 23 lbs. from the previous year, at 1,295 lbs.

Veal production totaled 9.5 million lbs., a decline of 6 percent compared to July a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 67,500 head, down 8 percent. The average live weight was 241, a decline if 4 lbs. from 2011, NASS said.

Pork production reached 1.72 billion lbs., up 5 percent from 2011 levels, NASS said. Hog slaughter was 8.57 million head, up 5 percent. The average live weight climbed 1 lb. from the previous year, at 269 lbs.
Lamb and mutton production gained 14 percent at 12.5 million lbs. Sheep slaughter totaled 178,600 head, 9 percent above 2011. The average live weight was up 7 lbs. to 140 lbs.

Commercial red meat production for the first seven months of 2012 was 28.2 billion lbs., up 1 percent from 2011, according to NASS. Accumulated beef production declined 1 percent, veal was down 8 percent, pork gained 3 percent, and lamb and mutton production advanced 3 percent, NASS said.