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Total red meat, pork production a record for March

January to March 2017 commercial red meat production 4% higher than prior year.

Commercial red meat production for the U.S. totaled 4.54 billion lb. in March 2017, up 6% from the 4.26 billion lb. produced in March 2016.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that beef production totaled 2.25 billion lb., 7% above the previous year. Cattle slaughter was 9% higher than last year, at 2.77 million head. However, the average live weight was down 20 lb. from the previous year to 1,350 lb.

Pork production totaled 2.27 billion lb., up 6% from the previous year. Hog slaughter was 6% higher, at 10.7 million head. The average live weight was unchanged from the previous year, at 284 lb.

Veal production totaled 6.4 million lb., 1% above March 2016. Calf slaughter totaled 45,000 head, up 25% from March 2016. The average live weight was down 56 lb. from last year to 246 lb.

Lamb and mutton production was lower at 13.7 million lb. Sheep slaughter totaled 196,900 head, 5% below last year. The average live weight was 140 lb., up 2 lb. from last March.

January to March 2017 commercial red meat production was 12.8 billion lb., 4% higher than the same period of 2016. Accumulated beef production was up 6% from last year, pork was up 3%, veal was down 4% and lamb and mutton production was down 2%.

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