Beef, Pork Production Hit Record Highs in December

Pork and red meat production hit a monthly record in December. The USDA says pork production totaled 2.44 billion pounds, a nine percent jump over December of the previous year. Slaughter was also higher, up nine percent to 11.4 million head. The average live weight gaining was up two pounds to 288 pounds. Beef production totaled 4.72 billion pounds, a jump of eight percent over 2018. Slaughter increased to 2.75 million head, up seven percent from December of 2018. The five-pound gain for the average live weight was 1,373 pounds. December red meat production totaled 4.72 billion pounds; eight percent higher than the previous year. Unofficially, red meat production for 2019 was 54.5 billion pounds, three percent higher than in 2018. The USDA’s official red meat production numbers for 2019 come out in April. December’s dairy cow slaughter totaled 265,400 head, a jump of 9.3 million head from November and 4.2 million more than the previous December. The unofficial total for 2019 was 3.22 million head, a 71,000 head increase above the 2018 total.