Cattle slaughter drops 7% from March 2011

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January to March 2012 commercial red meat production was 12.2 billion pounds, up slightly from 2011. Accumulated beef production was down 2 percent from last year, veal was down 9 percent, pork was up 2 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was up 7 percent.

Beef production, at 2.16 billion pounds, was 5 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, down 7 percent from March 2011. The average live weight was up 23 pounds from the previous year, at 1,299 pounds.

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.17 billion pounds in March, down 4 percent from the 4.35 billion pounds produced in March 2011.

Veal production totaled 10.0 million pounds, 18 percent below March a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 59,400 head, down 19 percent from March 2011. The average live weight was down 1 pound from last year, at 283 pounds.

Pork production totaled 1.99 billion pounds, down 3 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.52 million head, down 4 percent from March 2011. The average live weight was up 1 pound from the previous year, at 279 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 14.2 million pounds, was up 1 percent from March 2011. Sheep slaughter totaled 190,200 head, 2 percent below last year. The average live weight was 149 pounds, up 3 pounds from March a year ago.

March 2011 contained 23 weekdays (including 0 holidays) and 4 Saturdays.

March 2012 contained 22 weekdays (including 0 holidays) and 5 Saturdays.



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