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January red meat production a little bit above a year ago

U.S. red meat production was slightly larger in January 2024 than January 2023.

The USDA says commercial red meat production to start the year was 4.768 billion pounds, a modest increase on the year, with beef and pork both up 2% at 2.281 billion and 2.473 billion pounds, respectively.

That beef number came with a smaller slaughter and heavier average weights, at 2.73 million head and 1,389 pounds, while the hog slaughter was higher and average weights were lighter at 11.369 million head and 292 pounds.

The January 2024 dairy cow slaughter of 250,200 head was up 25,500 from December, but down 47,700 from January 2023.

The USDA’s next set of annual meat production projections is out March 8th.

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