Bucking this year’s trend in the opposite direction, U.S. red-meat production during June reached 4.16 billion pounds. That’s up 3 percent from the 4.05 billion pounds produced in June 2008, according to the USDA. Beef production, at 2.29 billion pounds, was 1 percent above the previous year, while cattle slaughter, at 2.98 million head also was up 1 percent from last June. The average live weight was up 8 pounds from the previous year, at 1,269 pounds. Veal production was down 2 percent, but pork production, at 1.85 billion pounds, was up 5 percent from June 2008. Overall, however, the trend this year has been toward less red-meat production, with the January through June total down 3 percent from last year, at 24.3 billion pounds.

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