CHARLESTON — West Virginia produced 56% more red meat in 2020 than in 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.

Commercial red meat production is the carcass weight after slaughter of beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton.

West Virginia processed 12.8 million pounds during 2020 at 32 slaughterhouses. There were 34 operating in 2019.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2020 totaled 16,900 head, up 56 percent from 2019. Total live weight was 18.50 million pounds, up 73 percent from 2019. The average live weight was 1,093 pounds, up 103 pounds from 2019.

Commercial hog slaughter during 2020 totaled 11,000 head, up 43 percent from 2019. Total live weight was 3.31 million pounds, up 49 percent from 2019. The average live weight was 300 pounds, up 12 pounds from the previous year.

Commercial slaughter for calves, sheep and lamb was not published to avoid disclosing individual operations.

Across the United States, total red meat production for the United States totaled 55.8 billion pounds in 2020, 1 percent higher than the previous year.

Red meat production in commercial plants totaled 55.7 billion pounds. On-farm slaughter totaled 94.3 million pounds.

Beef production totaled 27.2 billion pounds, up slightly from the previous year. Veal production totaled 69.3 million pounds, down 13 percent from last year.

Pork production, at 28.3 billion pounds, was 2 percent above the previous year. Lamb and mutton production totaled 143 million pounds, down 7 percent from 2019.

Commercial cattle slaughter during 2020 totaled 32.8 million head, down 2 percent from 2019, with federal inspection comprising 98.1 percent of the total. The average live weight was 1,373 pounds, up 29 pounds from a year ago.

Steers comprised 49.3 percent of the total federally inspected cattle slaughter, heifers 29.4 percent, dairy cows 9.5 percent, other cows 10.2 percent, and bulls 1.6 percent.

Commercial calf slaughter totaled 456,400 head, 22 percent lower than a year ago with 97.9 percent under federal inspection. The average live weight was 245 pounds, up 24 pounds from a year earlier.

Commercial hog slaughter totaled 132 million head, 1 percent higher than 2019 with 99.4 percent of the hogs slaughtered under federal inspection. The average live weight was up 4 pounds from last year, at 289 pounds.

Barrows and gilts comprised 97.2 percent of the total federally inspected hog slaughter.

Commercial sheep and lamb slaughter, at 2.23 million head, was down 4 percent from the previous year with federal inspection comprising 85.1 percent of the total. The average live weight was down 3 pounds from 2019 at 125 pounds.

Lambs and yearlings comprised 94.0 percent of the total federally inspected sheep slaughter.

There were 858 plants slaughtering under federal inspection on Jan. 1, compared with 835 last year. Of these, 683 plants slaughtered at least one head of cattle during 2020 with the 13 largest plants slaughtering 54 percent of the total cattle killed.

Hogs were slaughtered at 621 plants, with the 14 largest plants accounting for 58 percent of the total. For calves, 3 of the 172 plants accounted for 55 percent of the total and 1 of the 522 plants that slaughtered sheep or lambs in 2020 comprised 20 percent of the total head.

Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas accounted for 49 percent of the United States commercial red meat production in 2020, unchanged from 2019.

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