USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that commercialized red meat production for the United States totaled 3.95 billion pounds in March- a 6 percent jump from the 3.71 billion pounds produced in March 2003.

Leading the way was pork production, totaling 1.80 billion pounds, up 11 percent from the previous year, setting a monthly high for March. Hog slaughter totaled 9.04 million head, 11 percent above March 2003. The average liveweight was unchanged the previous year, at 268 pounds.

Beef production was 3 percent above the previous year, at 2.11 billion pounds. Cattle slaughtered totaled 2.87 million head- up four percent from March 2003. The average live weight was down 17 pounds from the previous year, at 1,217 pounds.

Veal production totaled 14.2 million pounds 14 percent below March 2003. Calf slaughter totaled 76,900 head, down 10 percent from March 2003. The average live weight was 15 pounds below last year, at 308 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 22.1 million pounds, was up 22 percent from March 2003. Sheep slaughter totaled 306,800 head, 17 percent above last year. The average liveweight was 144 pounds, up six pounds from March 2003.