From the recent July 2012 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Update:
• Beef: 2011 annual production was changed from 36,195 million pounds to 26,195 million pounds.
• Pork: 2011 annual production was changed from 22,752 million pounds to 22,758 million pounds.
• Pork: Third quarter 2012 production was changed from 5,260 million pounds to 5,620 million pounds.
• Total red meat and poultry: Annual 2012 production was changed from 92,132 million pounds to 92,140 million pounds.
• Total red meat and poultry: Annual 2013 production was changed from 92,742 million pounds to 92,052 million pounds.
Ten million freaking pounds!!! How do you miss by dang near 40%??
This is hardly confidence inspiring. It involves - to my untrained eye - a spreadsheet cell that should contain a formula adding the four quarters. Something like:
The quarterly numbers seem about right: ~6.5 million pounds. So the only way to get 36 M pounds is to a) have a basic and obvious error b) override the total.
Or maybe call it a typo, which itself is damning evidence of incompetence.
Here is a screen shot of the erroneous table:
Another bushel of trust in the accuracy and integrity of USDA reports is lost.