Total red meat and beef production is lower than this time last year, but improved from the previous month according to a USDA report released Thursday.

The Livestock Slaughter report shows beef production totaled 2.04 billion pounds in March, a decrease of six percent from last year, but up nine percent from February. Year-to-year cattle slaughter also declined six percent; however March cattle slaughter totaled 2.59 million head which is 10 percent higher than February.

Live weight for cattle in March averaged 1,313 pounds which was 14 pounds higher than last year, but seven pounds lower than the previous month.

Total red meat production for the United States totaled 3.99 billion pounds in March, down 4 percent from the 4.17 billion pounds produced in March 2012. Total red meat production also increased nine percent compared to this February. The amount of red meat produced in the first quarter of 2013 was 12 billion pounds, two percent lower than the same time frame in 2012.

Read the full report.