WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production grew 2 percent to a record 4.39 billion lbs. in August, up from the 4.30 billion lbs. produced in August 2011, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

Beef production was down 1 percent to 2.37 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.00 million head, a decline of 3 percent from August 2011. The average live weight was increased 30 lbs. from the previous year, at 1,300 lbs.

Veal production declined 11 percent to 10.1 million lbs., NASS said. Calf slaughter totaled 72,600 head, down 9 percent from August 2011. The average live weight dropped 11 lbs. from last year, at 237 lbs.
Pork production totaled 2.00 billion lbs., up 6 percent from 2011. Hog slaughter reached 9.94 million head, up 4 percent from the comparable year-ago period. The average live weight rose 3 pounds from the previous year, at 269 lbs., according to NASS.

Lamb and mutton production, at 14.2 million lbs., gained 8 percent from August 2011. Sheep slaughter totaled 200,500 head, an increase of 1 percent, according to NASS data. The average live weight was up 10 lbs. from August 2011, to 142 lbs.

January to August 2012 commercial red meat production grew 1 percent to 32.6 billion lbs. NASS said accumulated beef production declined 1 percent from August 2011, veal fell 9 percent, pork advanced 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production gained 4 percent.