U.S. hog numbers on the rise

U.S. hog numbers on the rise
Oct 02, 2018

As of Sept. 1, American farms had 75.5 million hogs and pigs

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

The American hog inventory continues to climb slightly.

The figure is up about 3 percent from Sept. 2017 and up 3 percent from June 1, 2018.

Of the 75.5 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, 69.2 million were market hogs and 6.33 million were kept for breeding, the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report said on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published the report. The agency releases the report every quarter to give the U.S. pork industry an indication of the inventory throughout the year.

The American “hog herd did grow but it didn’t grow as much as the market was expecting,” Abhinesh Gopal, head of commodity research at Farms.com Risk Management, said yesterday.

“The market was expecting the inventory to grow by about 3.3 percent … but the inventory actually grew by about 3.0 percent.”

The organization surveyed over 6,500 producers from across the country to get an accurate depiction of the country’s hog industry.

The number of pigs weaned on U.S. farms also rose markedly compared to last year’s numbers. A 3 percent increase was recorded between June and August 2018.

Throughout those summer months, American hog producers, on average, raised litters of 10.72 piglets in size, the report said.

In addition, hog producers in the U.S. are projected to have 3.16 million sows farrow between September and November this year. Also, they plan to have 3.12 million sows farrow from December 2018 to February 2019, the report said.

“Looking especially at the numbers of the breeding herds will help determine by how much we should expect the inventory to grow next year,” Gopal said. 

Current numbers show that “strong exports and high demand will be needed to support the growing supply.”

In terms of population, Iowa has the largest hog inventory in the country, accounting for 23.6 million pigs. North Carolina and Minnesota have 9.4 million and 8.6 million head, respectively.  

The inventory documented was as of Sept. 1, 2018.

Pork Checkoff photo

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