US red meat production saw decline in 2014

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Commercial hog slaughter was down 5% to 106.9m head
Commercial hog slaughter was down 5% to 106.9m head

Related tags Meat Cattle Beef Lamb Pork

Total US red meat production fell 4% last year, compared to 2013, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s annual Livestock Slaughter Summary (2014), published yesterday (27 April).

Production – which includes beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton – stood at 47.4 billion pounds (bn lb), of which commercial production made up 47.3bn lb.

Beef production declined 6% on the previous year at 24.3bn lb, while veal fell even further, down 15%, to 100m lb. Pork production fell slightly, down 1% to 22.9bn lb, while lamb and mutton production remained steady at 161m lb.

Commercial hog slaughter was down 5% to 106.9m head – comprised mainly of barrows and gils – although average live weight was up by 9lb on last year, at 285lb.

Commercial cattle slaughter fell 7% in 2014, to 30.2m head, with live weights for cattle also up, by 16lb to 1,300lb. Calf slaughter was 26% lower last year at 565,800 head. Live weights for calves were up 33lb on the previous year.

Slaughter cattle were predominately steers (51.8%), while heifers made up 28.2%, dairy cows 9.5%, other cows 8.6% and bulls 1.8%.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter stood at 2.31m head, with average live weights unchanged at 135lb.

According to the report there was an increase in plants slaughtering under federal inspection, last year – 881 plants compared to 862 the previous year. The most prominent states for commercial meat production were Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas, which accounted for 49% of total production.

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