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Factbook
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Mass of US Beef Production

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Taylor, Robert W. and Tom G, Field. Beef Production and Management Decisions, 3rd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.
Carcass Beef Produced (bil lb)
YearWeight
19256.9
19509.4
197523.7
1995-199725.3 (3-year average)
3.13- 11.48 × 109 kg
US Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States 2006: The National Data Book. Washington, DC, 2005.
Production
(in million lb-carcass weight equivalent)
YearWeight
199022,743
199525,222
200026,888
200227,192
200424,650
10.32-12.33 × 109 kg
US Cattle and Beef Industry, 2002-2005. US Department of Agriculture, March 6, 2006. "US beef production (commercial carcass weight)
2002: 27.09 billion lb
2003: 26.24 billion lb
2004: 24.55 billion lb
2005: 25.6 billion lb, estimated"
11.14-12.29 × 109 kg
Agricultural Statistics Board, USDA. Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income [pdf]. Washington, DC, April 1987.
Production (thousand metric tons)
Year Weight
198418,158
198518,125
198618,354
18.16- 18.35 × 109 kg
Beef Industry Facts. Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association, 2006. "Total beef production during 2005 is estimated to be 24.6 billion pounds. Total beef production during 2004 was 24.5 billion pounds." 11.11- 11.16 × 109 kg

Got beef?

Beef is a red meat that comes from cattle and is one of the America's most popular sources of protein. Beef contains significant amounts of nutrients, including zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus.

Beef production represents over 50 percent of red meat production in the United States (also including pork, lamb, and veal), and is also widely consumed worldwide.

The state with the greatest annual beef production is Texas. The following states are also large beef producers: Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, California, and Colorado.

The number of cattle has increased in the United States almost continually from the early 1900s until the mid-1970s, at which point there was a dramatic decline. The peak number of cattle was 132 million head in 1975 (prices were also at a low point). In contrast, there were only 100 million head of cattle during the late 1990s. Beef production, however, has continued to increase from the early 1900s until the present, with one exception during the late 1940s (after World War II).

Since the late 1980s, carcass beef production has been relatively stable despite the decrease in cattle numbers. Weights of carcasses have increased from an average 278 kg each in 1970, to 322 kg in 1998. A main reason for this dramatic weight increase is advancements in genetics, leading to the creation of cattle that will produce more carcass beef per head.

Jenna Conversano -- 2006