March 6, 2023


US meat production to drop this year




The United States hit "peak meat" production in 2022 totaling 107 billion pounds, a record for meat production that includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb and veal. 


Even though there are cycles in beef production and seasonal patterns in demand and supply, meat production has trended upward over the long-term.  However, meat production should decline in 2023 and again in 2024 due mostly to supply challenges. 


Record meat production last year was driven by increases in beef and chicken production while pork and turkey declined. The beef production increase was due to reduced heifer retention and increased beef cow culling brought on by drought and cost increases relative to cattle prices. 


Broiler production surged as high chicken prices fueled profits. Pork production declined about 2.5% to 27 billion pounds brought on by animal disease pressures and sow productivity issues. Turkey production was reduced by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).


In 2023, total meat production is expected to decline by about 1%, to about 105.9 billion pounds. Beef production is expected to fall by about 5%. Pork production is expected to decline slightly (less than 1%).  Broiler production may show a small increase over 2022. Turkey production is likely to increase by close to 3% as it recovers from HPAI and high prices should deliver some profits.


Total meat production is likely to decline again in 2024 as increases in broiler production are not enough to offset declining beef production. 


- Southern Ag Today

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