Red meat production slows in August


Red meat production slows in August

Total red meat production for August slowed from the previous month – but was still 1 percent higher than the previous year. The USDA says total red meat production was 4.69 billion pounds for August compared to 4.8 billion pounds in July. 

Beef production declined 2 percent on the year at 2.33 billion pounds.  The 4 percent decline in cattle slaughter was somewhat offset by the 27-pound increase in the average live weights.

Commercial pork production totaled 2.34 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the previous year.  Total hog slaughter increased 2 percent to 11.1 million head and the average live weight jumped 3 pounds from year-ago levels.

The USDA says the dairy cow slaughter for August was just over 225,000 head, down about 9,000 from July, but down about 42,000 from August 2019 as producers slowdown the pace of herd liquidation.

For the year to date, the dairy cow slaughter is just over 2 million head, about 110,000 behind year ago levels.

Year-to-date commercial red meat production is at 36.3 pounds, still 1 percent above 2019’s record-pace.