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Total pork production in 2014 down slightly

National Hog Farmer finishing pigs
Heavier market weights offset production loss last year

Pork production for the United States reached 22.9 million pounds in 2014, according to the annual USDA Livestock Slaughter report. Despite the production woes experienced last year due to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreaks, last year total pork production was 1.5% lower than 2013.

Hog slaughter at 106.9 million head in 2014 fell 5% from the previous year. The more affordable feed prices and outstanding hog prices encouraged pork producers to increase live weights last year. On the average, live weight increased 9 pounds from 2013 at 285 pounds. 

Meanwhile, the USDA reported that total red meat production - beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton - for the United States penciled at 47.4 billion pounds last year, 4% lower than the previous year. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 47.3 billion pounds whereas on-farm slaughter totaled 93.4 million pounds.

Interestingly, the number of plants slaughtering under federal inspection on Jan. 1 increased from 862 last year to 881. Of these, 654 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2014 with the 13 largest plants slaughtering 56% of the total cattle killed. Hogs were slaughtered at 620 plants, with the 12 largest plants accounting for 57% of the total. Likewise, five of the 200 plants that slaughtered calves accounted for 63% of the total and three of the 521 plants that slaughtered sheep or lambs in 2014 comprised 56% of the total head.

Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas accounted for 49% of the U.S. commercial red meat production in 2014, unchanged from 2013.

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