USDA expects pork to top beef production this year

USDA expects pork to top beef production this year

USDA's estimates pork production will be higher than beef for the first time since 1950

USDA's Economic Research Service has released estimates of second-quarter total red meat and poultry production, expecting for the first time since 1950, the industry will produce more pork than beef.

USDA forecasts this year's commercial beef production will total 23.824 billion pounds, down 185 million pounds from its June estimates, whereas commercial pork production is set to reach 24.581 million pounds.

The outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza reduced turkey production, while broiler production has remained unaffected, ERS says.

ERS projections for total red meat and poultry production fell below earlier prediction because lower beef and turkey production will likely offset gains from higher broiler and pork production. ERS data reveals that decreased beef cow slaughter results from both low cow inventories and improved pasture conditions across the U.S.

Related: Consumers Say They Will Choose Chicken Over Beef

Meanwhile, pork production has been higher than beef production in both the first and second quarters, with prices under pressure as litter size and overall hog inventories have rebounded.

The report indicates that the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza reduced turkey production, while broiler production has remained unaffected because the number of birds slaughtered and weights have been higher.

Overall, the U.S. is expected to produce 1.8% less beef compared to 2014, but 7.6% more pork and 5%more broilers.

Read the full report on the USDA ERS website.

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