Total red meat production down slightly in 2013

Total red meat production totaled 49.3 billion pounds in 2013, slightly lower than in 2012, said USDA in its 2013 Livestock Slaughter report.

Total red meat production for the U.S. totaled 49.3 billion pounds in 2013, slightly lower than the previous year, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2013 Livestock Slaughter summary report issued April 21.

Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 49.2 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 95.6 million pounds.

Beef production totaled 25.8 billion pounds, down 1% from the previous year. Veal production totaled 118 million pounds, down 6% from last year. Pork production, at 23.2 billion pounds, was slightly below the previous year. Lamb and mutton production totaled 161 million pounds, up slightly from 2012.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2013 totaled 32.5 million head, down 1% from 2012, with federal inspection comprising 98.4% of the total. The average live weight was 1,314 pounds, up 12 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 50.1% of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 28.6%, dairy cows 9.8%, other cows 9.8%, and bulls 1.7%. Commercial calf slaughter totaled 762,000 head, 1% lower than a year ago with 98.6% under federal inspection. The average live weight was 250 pounds, down 10 pounds from a year earlier.

Commercial hog slaughter totaled 112.1 million head, 1% lower than 2012 with 99.3% of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was up 1 pound from last year, at 276 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.0% of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.32 million head, was up 6% from the previous year with 91.4% by federal inspection. The average live weight was down 8 pounds from 2012 at 135 pounds. Lambs and yearlings comprised 93.7% of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.
There were 831 plants slaughtering under federal inspection on January 1, 2014, compared with 826 last year. Of these, 638 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2013 with the 13 largest plants slaughtering 55% of the total cattle killed. Hogs were slaughtered at 606 plants, with the 12 largest plants accounting for 57% of the total. Likewise, 5 of the 209 plants that slaughtered calves accounted for 62% of the total and 3 of the 516 plants that slaughtered sheep or lambs in 2013 comprised 57% of the total head.

Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas accounted for 49%% of the U.S. commercial red meat production in 2013, similar to 2012.

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