Record beef, pork production in 2019
The U.S. produced record large amounts of beef and pork in 2019, spurred by larger domestic inventories, higher processing rates, and demand expectations.
The USDA says beef production was 27.224 billion pounds, up 1% on the year, with a 2% increase in the commercial slaughter but the average live weight was down six pounds from 2018 at 1,344 pounds. Steers made up 49.3% of the federally inspected slaughter total, with heifers accounting for 29.7% and dairy cows at 9.7%.
Pork production was 27.652 billion pounds, a year to year jump of 5%, with a 4% rise in the commercial slaughter and a two pound gain for the average live weight to 285 pounds. Barrows and gilts were 97.4% of the federally inspected slaughter total.
Red meat production was 55.018 billion pounds, 3% more than the previous record set in 2018.
835 plants slaughtered under federal inspection last year, two fewer than the year before, and Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas accounted for 49% of commercial red meat production, unchanged on the year.