Live weights of both hogs and cattle ran below year-earlier weights for the early part of 2023. Hog live weights averaged 284.9 pounds through the week ending on July 8, 2023, compared to 287.3 pounds during the same time in 2022. That’s an average difference of over 2.4 pounds.
Lower weights this year are likely because of producer losses caused by high feed costs and low hog prices due to weaker pork demand. Live cattle weights averaged 1,370 pounds through May 20, 2023, 16.25 pounds less than weights over the same period last year. Lower weights are likely caused by numerous factors, including more heifers with lower weights in the slaughter mix due to ongoing drought conditions that discouraged the retention of heifers for breeding.
Additionally, feedlot performance was likely affected by adverse weather conditions early in 2023, resulting in lower rates of gain. Hog weights hit year-earlier levels in mid-July.