December pork production reaches a new high

USDA reported 2014 pork production down 1% while beef production fell 6%

Record high production in December offset beef production declines to boost the accumulated red meat production at 47.3 billion lb., dropping 4% below 2013 levels, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service “Livestock Slaughter” report.

In December, pork production totaled 2.11 billion lb., up 2% from December 2013 which lifted the annual total for 2014 to 22.84 billion lbs., 1% below the previous year. 

In the last month of the year, beef production totaled 2.00 billion lb., down 2% from December 2013. Thus, at the end of the year beef production penciled at 24.25 billion lb., 6% below the previous year.

The average live weight for both hogs and cattle were up in December.  Hog producers last month slaughtered 9.85 million head, averaging 286 lb. –up 3% from 2013.  Similar, Cattle feeders slaughter 2.44 million head with an average live weight of 1,363 lb., increase 29 lb. over the previous year.

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