Red meat production up for year, down in November

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — There was good news and bad news regarding commercial red meat production so far this year. The good news is commercial red meat production from January to November 2008 was 46.1 billion lbs, up 3% from 2007; accumulated beef production was up 1% from last year; veal was up 2%; and pork was up 7% from last year. However, lamb and mutton production was down 5%, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And in comparing November 2008 to November 2007, commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.87 billion lbs, down 10% from the 4.30 billion lbs produced last November.

Reaching 1.96 billion lbs, beef production was 12% below the previous November. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.52 million head, down 11% from November 2007. The average live weight was down 2 lbs from the previous year, at 1,302 lbs.

Meanwhile, veal production totaled 11.3 million lbs, 13% more than what was reached in November 2007. Calf slaughter totaled 81,400 head, up 38% from November a year ago. The average live weight was 240 lbs, down 51 lbs from last year.

Totaling 1.89 billion lbs for November, pork production was down 8% from November 2007. Hog kill totals for the month were 9.32 million head, down 7% from November 2007, and the average live weight was 271 lbs, down 1 lb from November in the previous year.

Totaling 12.9 million lbs last month, lamb and mutton production was down 20% from November 2007. Sheep slaughter totaled 193,700 head, 18% below last year, and the average live weight was 133 lbs, down 3 lbs from the same year-ago period.

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