According to the March 2018 USDA Livestock Slaughter report, commercial red meat production in February 2018 was up 3% from last year to 4.06 billion pounds. This includes total beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton.

U.S. beef and pork production saw 3% and 4% increases, respectively, from this time last year. Cattle slaughter was up 2% from February 2017, and the average live weight was 1,368 pounds, an 8 pound increase over the prior year. Hog slaughter saw a 3% increase compared to February 2017, and the average live weight was 286 pounds, up 2 pounds from last February.

Nebraska led the way for commercial red meat production with 608.1 million pounds as of February 2018. In Iowa, commercial red meat production was 590 million pounds, a 7% increase from February 2017. Commercial hog slaughter in Iowa increased from 2.54 million head in 2017 to 2.65 million head in February 2018, and the average Iowa live weight increased from 282 to 286 pounds. While Idaho has a relatively small amount of red meat production (21.6 million pounds), they saw a sizeable percentage increase from February 2017 to February 2018.

Michelle Mensing is a Research Analyst with Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS). DIS is an Iowa-Based economic research firm which provides regular farm economics research and analysis to the Iowa Farm Bureau staff and members.