USDA 2009 livestock predictions

Total US meat production for 2009 is forecast lower this month as a slight increase in red meat output is more than offset by lower poultry production.

Pork production is forecast slightly higher than last month as hog weights are increased slightly.  Higher than expected feeder pig imports in the last quarter of 2008 are expected to lead to  higher slaughter in the first half of the year but lower forecast hog imports in 2009 lead to reduced forecasts of second half slaughter. 

The beef production forecast is raised from last month as carcass weights are forecast higher.  In addition, cow slaughter is forecast higher as dairy herd liquidation is expected to increase during the year. 

Broiler production forecasts are lowered as hatchery data point to continued reductions in eggs set and chicks placed.  Turkey production is also forecast lower as there are no indications that hatchery flocks will expand before midyear.  Total egg production is forecast lower as a fractional increase in the first quarter table egg output is more than offset by lower forecast hatching egg production, which reflects reduced forecasts for broilers. 

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