Commercial red meat production down in April
The USDA says commercial U.S. red meat production during April 2022 was 4.546 billion pounds, down 3% from April 2021. That was due to slower slaughter rates for cattle and hogs, which canceled out higher average live weights.
Beef was reported at 2.327 billion pounds, 1% lower than last year, with a slaughter of 2.183 million head, also 1% lower, and an average live weight of 1,373 pounds, a gain of seven pounds.
Pork was pegged at 2.202 billion pounds, a drop of 6%, with a slaughter of 10.081 million head, a decline of 7%, and an average live weight of 293 pounds, three heavier.
The year-to-date total for commercial red meat production is 18.517 billion pounds, 2% behind the year ago pace.
The USDA’s next set of annual meat production estimates is out June 10th.
The dairy cow slaughter for April 2022 was 237,800 head, down 59,400 from March and 19,700 from April 2021. The year-to-date dairy cow slaughter is 1.062 million head, 40,000 slower than this time last year.