Ag stats: 2019 livestock slaughter highlights

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Published Friday, May 1, 2020

Total red meat production for the United States totaled 55.1 billion pounds in 2019, 3 percent higher than the previous year. Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, and lamb and mutton. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 55.0 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 93.1 million pounds. 

Beef production totaled 27.2 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the previous year. Veal production totaled 79.0 million pounds, down 2 percent from last year. Pork production, at 27.7 billion pounds, was 5 percent above the previous year. Lamb and mutton production totaled 153.2 million pounds, down 3 percent from 2018. 

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2019 totaled 33.6 million head, up 2 percent from 2018, with federal inspection comprising 98.6 percent of the total. The average live weight was 1,344 pounds, down 6 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 49.3 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 29.7 percent, dairy cows 9.7 percent, other cows 9.6 percent, and bulls 1.6 percent. 

Commercial calf slaughter totaled 587,000 head, 1 percent higher than a year ago with 98.6 percent under federal inspection. The average live weight was 221 pounds, down 5 pounds from a year earlier. 

Commercial hog slaughter totaled 129.9 million head, 4 percent higher than 2018 with 99.5 percent of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from last year, at 285 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.4 percent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter. 

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.32 million head, was up 3 percent from the previous year with federal inspection comprising 87.0 percent of the total. The average live weight was down 7 pounds from 2018 at 128 pounds. 

Lambs and yearlings comprised 94.3 percent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.

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