Source: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Agency | April 1, 2019
2019 meat production and consumption
by Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist
Total 2019 meat production in the U.S. is currently projected to reach another record level of 103.3 billion pounds, up 1.3 percent year over year. However, per-capita meat consumption may decrease slightly to 217.3 pounds from the 2018 level of 218.6 pounds. The decrease in per-capita meat consumption reflects improved meat trade with projected decreases in meat imports and increased meat exports along with normal population growth. Total 2019 meat imports are projected to decrease to 4.3 billion pounds, the lowest since 2013, with record meat exports of 17.4 billion pounds. Total meat includes beef, pork, broiler, turkey, other chicken, veal and lamb.
Record per capita meat consumption occurred in 2004 at 221.9 pounds. At that time lower population, higher meat imports, and meat exports less than half of today’s level were sufficient to increase per capita consumption despite lower total meat production in 2004 which, at 85.1 billion pounds, was 17.6 percent smaller than today.
Beef production in 2019 is projected to increase to another record at 27.2 billion pounds, up about 1.1 percent over last year. Weather impacts are holding carcass weights well below year ago levels so far this year and annual average carcass weights are projected to only increase slightly year over year. Cattle slaughter is projected to increase about one percent year over year. With beef imports projected to decrease and beef exports expected to increase again in 2019, per-capita beef consumption is expected to decrease to 56.8 pounds (retail basis), down from 57.1 pounds one year ago.
The March Hogs and Pigs report from USDA-NASS showed continued growth in the U.S. pork industry with year over year increases in all hog, breeding hog and market hog inventories. Pork production in 2019 is projected to increase about 2.9 percent to 27.1 billion pounds. Per-capita pork consumption is expected to increase slightly from last year to 51.0 pounds per-capita. An improved pork trade balance is projected with year over year decreases in pork imports and significant increases in pork exports. Higher projected pork exports are partly due to anticipated increases in pork imports in China as a result of losses in Chinese pork production due to African Swine Fever.
Broiler production estimates have been trimmed from earlier expectations with current projections of a 1.1 percent increase in broiler production in 2019 to 42.6 billion pounds. Per-capita broiler consumption is projected to decrease fractionally year over year to 92.0 pounds in 2019 with increased broiler exports taking up most of the increase in production. Turkey production and consumption are both projected to decrease in 2019. Total poultry, including broiler, turkey and other chicken production is projected to be fractionally higher in 2019.
These projections reflect estimates and analysis by the Livestock Marketing Information Center and me. Of course, the estimates are likely to change as market conditions change and new information becomes available. Many factors may impact meat production and consumption this year including weather, disease, trade, U.S. and global macroeconomic conditions, feed markets and others.
Evaluate udder soundness soon after calving to use as culling criteria
by Glenn Selk, OSU Professor Emeritus, Oklahoma State University
Every year at preg checking time, ranchers evaluate cows and make decisions as which to remove from the herd. One criteria that should be examined to cull cows is udder quality. Beef cattle producers are not as likely to think about udder health and shape as are dairy producers, but this attribute affects cow productivity and should be considered.
It may be easier to be accurate in your culling decisions, if you exam the udder soundness of the cows shortly after calving when they are at the peak of lactation and the udder is as large as at any time.Take time now during the peak of lactation to write down which spring-calving cows have unsound udders. Record the cow numbers of those to be culled next fall due to unsound udders. Their heifer calves would be undesirable prospects to become replacement heifers for your herd.
The heritability estimates of udder characteristics are variable. A study done in Brahman cattle for the heritability of udder soundness indicated that progress could be made by selecting for udder soundness. They reported that 25 percent of the differences in udder soundness was due to genetics. Beef Improvement Federation Guidelines have suggested that the heritability of udder soundness in beef cattle is estimated at .16 to .22 which means that some progress can be made by selecting against unsound udders.
Recent research at Kansas State University (Bradford, 2014 KSU Cattlemen’s Day) with large numbers of Hereford data has given even greater hope that improvement in udder quality can be made. They found heritabilities of .32 for overall udder score, .31 for suspension, and .28 for teat size. Plus, genetic correlations between traits were strong (.83). This means that selection for one trait (teat size or suspension) will result in improvement in the other trait.
An experiment conducted at the OSU Range Cow Research Center near Stillwater gives some indication as to the impact of mastitis on beef cow performance. They found that cows with one or two dry quarters had calves with severely reduced weaning weights (50 – 60 pounds) compared to cows with no dry quarters. This represents a sizeable economic loss at weaning time.
An evaluation system for udder soundness has been developed and used by some breeds. Teat shape and udder suspension are the two primary characteristics evaluated. Below are photos of unsound udders.
The first photo is an example of a cow with mastitic funnel-shaped teats. New born calves will find it difficult to nurse such a teat, and some may be so severely infected that they become unproductive (dry). The second photo is an example of a weakened suspensory ligament. This udder may cause the teats to be very low to the ground and be difficult for the newborn calf to find to receive the colostrum that it needs in a timely manner.