More meat than ever - red meat production sets record

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Red meat production for the United States totalled 48.8 billion pounds in 2007, up 2 % from a year ago and setting an all-time record.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that beef production totalled 26.5 billion pounds, up 1 % from the previous year. Pork production, at 22.0 billion pounds, was 4 % above a year ago. Veal production, however, was down 6 % and lamb and mutton fell by 1 %.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2007 totalled 34.3 million head, up 2 % from 2006, of which 98.4 % were in federally inspected plants. The average live weight was 1,269 pounds, down 2 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 51.3 % of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 30.3 %, dairy cows 7.4 %, other cows 9.4 %, and bulls 1.6 %. Commercial calf slaughter totalled 758,100 head, 7 % higher than a year ago with 98.2 % under federal inspection. The average live weight was 303 pounds, down 39 pounds from a year earlier.

Commercial hog slaughter totalled 109.2 million head, 4 % higher than 2006 with 99.1 % of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was unchanged from last year, at 269 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 96.5 % of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

USDA said there were 808 plants slaughtering under federal inspection on January 1, 2008 compared with 795 last year. Of these, 626 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2007 with the 14 largest plants slaughtering 54 % of the total cattle killed. Hogs were slaughtered at 618 plants, with the 11 largest plants accounting for 51 % of the total.

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