2017 Annual Livestock Slaughter Highlights

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Published Thursday, April 19, 2018

Total red meat production for the United States totaled 52.1 billion pounds in 2017, 3 percent higher than the previous year. Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, and lamb and mutton. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 52.0 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 87.6 million pounds.

Beef production totaled 26.3 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the previous year. Veal production totaled 80.2 million pounds, down 1 percent from last year. Pork production, at 25.6 billion pounds, was 3 percent above the previous year.

Lamb and mutton production totaled 150.2 million pounds, down 3 percent from 2016.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2017 totaled 32.2 million head, up 5 percent from 2016, with federal inspection comprising 98.5 percent of the total. The average live weight was 1,349 pounds, down 14 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 52.9 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 27.2 percent, dairy cows 9.4 percent, other cows 8.8 percent, and bulls 1.7 percent.

Commercial calf slaughter totaled 512,300 head, 5 percent higher than a year ago with 98.2 percent under federal inspection. The average live weight was 250 pounds, down 16 pounds from a year earlier.

Commercial hog slaughter totaled 121.3 million head, 3 percent higher than 2016 with 99.3 percent of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was unchanged from last year, at 282 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.2 percent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.18 million head, was down 3 percent from the previous year with 88.9 percent by federal inspection. The average live weight was down 1 pound from 2016 at 133 pounds. Lambs and yearlings comprised 94.8 percent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.