May red meat, pork production largest for month on record

U.S. red meat production during May was record large for the month.

That included a monthly record for pork production at 2.271 billion pounds, a jump of 4% on the year with a 5% increase in the slaughter to 10.584 million head more than canceling out a two pound loss in the average live weight at 289 pounds.

Beef production was 2.306 billion pounds, 1% higher than May 2022 with the slaughter also up 1% to 2.84 million head partially because of some numbers being pulled ahead because drought in some of the major feeding areas against a two pound decline in the average live weight at 1,349 pounds.

The dairy cow slaughter for May was 249,100 head, up 5,500 from April and 23,900 from May 2022, with the running total for the year at 1,363,200 head, 75,600 faster than last year’s pace.

The May 2023 red meat total of 4.593 billion pounds was 2% more than last year with year-to-date production of 22.734 billion pounds, 1% slower than the 2022 pace.

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