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Total Red Meat Production Down In 2010

27 April 2011
National Agricultural Statistics Service

US - Total red meat production for the United States totaled 49.2 billion pounds in 2010, slightly lower than the previous year.

Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, and lamb and mutton. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 49.0 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 144 million pounds.

Beef production totaled 26.4 billion pounds, up 1 per cent from the previous year. Veal production totaled 145 million pounds, down 2 per cent from last year. Pork production, at 22.5 billion pounds, was 2 per cent below the previous year. Lamb and mutton production totaled 168 million pounds, down 5 per cent from 2009.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2010 totaled 34.2 million head, up 3 per cent from 2009, with federal inspection comprising 98.4 per cent of the total. The average live weight was 1,279 pounds, down 14 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 49.2 per cent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 29.8 per cent, dairy cows 8.3 per cent, other cows 10.8 per cent, and bulls 1.8 per cent.

Commercial calf slaughter totaled 878,600 head, 7 per cent lower than a year ago with 98.4 per cent under federal inspection. The average live weight was 262 pounds, up 12 pounds from a year earlier.

Commercial hog slaughter totaled 110.3 million head, 3 per cent lower than 2009 with 99.1 per cent of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was up 1 pound from last year at 272 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.0 per cent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.46 million head, was down 2 per cent from the previous year with 92.0 per cent by federal inspection. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from 2009 at 134 pounds. Lambs and yearlings comprised 93.1 per cent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.

There were 841 plants slaughtering under federal inspection on January 1, 2011 compared with 834 last year. Of these, 632 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2010 with the 14 largest plants slaughtering 55 per cent of the total cattle killed. Hogs were slaughtered at 611 plants, with the 12 largest plants accounting for 57 per cent of the total. Likewise, 5 of the 248 plants that slaughtered calves accounted for 56 per cent of the total and 4 of the 506 plants that slaughtered sheep or lambs in 2010 comprised 64 per cent of the total head.

Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas accounted for 49 per cent of the United States commercial red meat production in 2010, down 1 per centage point from 2009.

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