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Beef Production Down 9 Percent from Last July

13:10PM Aug 22, 2014

Beef and total red meat production continues to slide.

It is no secret that the U.S. cow herd has been shrinking after years of drought in top beef producing states. Now the impacts are starting to be seen more and more at the packer side.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, beef production came in at 2.09 billion lbs. That’s 9% down from last July. Slaughter totals are also trending down with 10% fewer cattle taken to the packer at 2.6 million head. However, live weights are moving up as feedlots and packers try to compensate for the loss of cattle. This July cattle averaged 1,320 lbs. when entering the processor, up 18 lbs. from last year.

Overall red meat production was down 6% nationally. Only 3.91 billion lbs. of red meat was produced in this past month compared to 4.16 billion lbs. in July 2013.

From January to July of 2014 a similar drop off occurred with 3% less red meat produced at 27.4 billion lbs.

For the complete report go here.