A Drovers report says the final beef production numbers for 2018 will soon be out as USDA data is moving again after the government shutdown. The current numbers for 2019 will also soon be released by USDA. The January Cattle on Feed Report will come out on February 22nd. With all but the last few days of slaughter and carcass data out, 2018 beef production totals are all but wrapped up.
Commercial beef production in 2018 should total 26.9 billion pounds. That’s 2.6 percent higher than the previous year and just lower than the record U.S. beef production total of 27.1 billion pounds in 2002. Beef production in 2019 is expected to continue growing. The forecast for this year comes in at a record 27.4 billion pounds, 1.8 percent higher than last year. Drovers says the total beef production number is likely to grow through at least 2020.
Steer carcass weights increased just two pounds year-over-year in 2018 to 880 pounds, a smaller increase than most expected. Heifer carcass weights increased five pounds over the same period to 816 pounds. The modest increase in steer and heifer carcass weights helped to alleviate industry concern that relatively inexpensive feed would lead to even higher carcass weights.