According to the USDA's Annual Livestock Slaughter Report, total red meat production for the United States totaled 49.6 billion pounds in 2012, slightly higher than the previous year.
Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, and lamb and mutton. Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 49.4 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 113 million pounds.
Pork production, at 23.3 billion pounds, was 2 percent above the previous year. Beef production totaled 26.0 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the previous year. Veal production totaled 125 million pounds, down 8 percent from last year. Lamb and mutton production totaled 161 million pounds, up 5 percent from 2011.
Commercial hog slaughter totaled 113.2 million head, 2 percent higher than 2011 with 99.2 percent of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was unchanged from last year, at 275 pounds. Barrows and gilts comprised 97.0 percent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.
Commercial cattle slaughter during 2012 totaled 33.0 million head, down 3 percent from 2011, with federal inspection comprising 98.4 percent of the total. The average live weight was 1,302 pounds, up 25 pounds from a year ago. Steers comprised 49.8 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 28.6 percent, dairy cows 9.6 percent, other cows 10.3 percent, and bulls 1.7 percent.
Commercial calf slaughter totaled 772,100 head, 9 percent lower than a year ago with 98.4 percent under federal inspection. The average live weight was 260 pounds, down 3 pounds from a year earlier.
Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.18 million head, was up 1 percent from the previous year with 92.2 percent by federal inspection. The average live weight was up 5 pounds from 2011 at 143 pounds. Lambs and yearlings comprised 92.9 percent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.
There were 806 plants slaughtering under federal inspection on January 1, 2013 compared with 867 last year. Of these, 627 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2012 with the 14 largest plants slaughtering 55 percent of the total cattle killed. Hogs were slaughtered at 600 plants, with the 12 largest plants accounting for 57 percent of the total.
Likewise, 5 of the 206 plants that slaughtered calves accounted for 57 percent of the total and 3 of the 507 plants that slaughtered sheep or lambs in 2012 comprised 60 percent of the total head. Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas accounted for 49 percent percent of the United States commercial red meat production in 2012, similar to 2011.