September 22, 2003



U.S. Hog Industry Suffers Little From Isabel


North Carolina's hog producers have come out of hurricane Isabel's lash relatively unscathed, with 80 to 90 percent of farmers reporting little damage, said a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Pork Council.


Some minor wind damage has been reported but Isabel has had no significant impact on the industry. This comapared to September 1999, when 21,000 head of hogs were reportedly killed as Hurricane Floyd hit the region, causing heavy flooding and other damages to the poultry and cattle industry.


Being well prepared for the storm helped curb losses in the country's second largest swine-producing state. Some farm had closed their pork-processing plants on Thursday before the storm. However, most pork facilities were reportedly expected to have begun operation last Saturday.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimated hog slaughter for Thursday stood at 329,000 head, with Friday at 362,000 and Saturday at 129,000 head.


Forecast for this week's slaughter and total meat production


U.S. cattle slaughter for the week was estimated at 730,000 head, compared with 747,000 last week and 680,000 a year ago. Year-to-date cattle slaughter is estimated at 25.917 million head, up 1.40% from a year ago.


Hog slaughter for the week was estimated at 1.972 million head, versus 1.962 million a week ago and 2.077 million last year. This week's total was 94.9% of a year ago. For the year to date, hog slaughter is estimated at 69.535 million head, down 0.85% from a year ago.


This week's combined meat production - for beef and veal, pork and lamb/mutton - was estimated at 933.9 million pounds, versus last week's 942.1 million and the year-ago figure of 933.2 million pounds. Year-to-date red meat production is 33.352 billion pounds, down 0.29% from a year ago.


Broiler slaughter this week was estimated at 154.818 million head, compared with 158.505 million a week ago and 160.714 million for the same period last year.
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