This week’s Livestock Slaughter report from USDA shows cattle slaughter and beef production during August fell well short of one year ago, but record-high pork production helped make up the difference.

The report lists August beef production at 2.18 billion pounds, 4 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter for the month, totaling 2.78 million head, also was down 4 percent from August 2008.  Slaughter weights averaged 9 pounds heavier than those of one year ago, at 1,293 pounds.

Pork production on the other hand, totaled 1.87 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the previous year. Much of the increase was due to weights, as the total hog kill of 9.34 million head was up just 1 percent from August 2008. Average live weights were up 7 pounds from the previous year, at 268 pounds.

Veal production, at 10.6 million pounds, was 6 percent below that of last August with calf slaughter and weights declining Lamb and mutton production, at 13.3 million pounds, was up slightly from last year.

Added together, U.S. commercial red meat production during August totaled 4.08 billion pounds, down slightly from the 4.10 billion pounds produced in August 2008. August included the same number of working days in 2008 and 2009.

For January through August this year, commercial red meat production totaled 32.5 billion pounds, down 3 percent from 2008.  Beef and veal production were each down 3 percent from last year, pork was down 2 percent and lamb and mutton production down 4 percent.

The full report is available online.