May red meat production down 7% from year ago

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Total red meat production for the United States in May was down 7% from a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Livestock Slaughter report.

May commercial red meat production totaled 3,919 million lbs, down 7% from May of last year and down 4% from April 2009, the U.S.D.A. said. January to May commercial red meat production was about 20,140 million lbs, down 4% from the same period last year.

Beef production was 2,180 million lbs in May, down 8% from May 2008 but up 2% from April 2009. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.85 million head, which was down 9% from the previous year. The average live weight of cattle at slaughter was 1,264 lbs in May, up 13 lbs from the previous year.

Dairy cow slaughter in May was 212,000 head, down 3,000 from April but up 17,000, or 9%, from May 2008. Dairy cows made up 7.5% of total cattle slaughter in May, compared with 7.9% in April and 6.3% in May of last year. Dairy cow slaughter for the January-May period totaled 1,189,000 head, up 110,000 head, or 10%, from the same period of 2008. The five-month 2009 dairy number was 8.9% of total cattle slaughter for the period compared with 7.6% for the same period last year.

Pork production in May was 1,716 million lbs, down 5% from the previous year and down 11% from the previous month. Commercial hog slaughter totaled 8.45 million head, down 7% from May 2008. The average live weight of slaughter hogs in May was 271 lbs, up 3 lbs from May 2008.

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