US sees slight increase in hog and pig population

Jan 03, 2024

By Jean-Paul McDonald

The United States has witnessed a marginal increase in its hog and pig population, as per the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).  

As of December 1, the total count stood at 75.0 million, indicating a slight rise from the previous year and a minor decrease from September 1, 2023. 

This inventory includes 69.0 million market hogs and 6.00 million breeding hogs. The report also highlights recent breeding and market trends, crucial for understanding the current state of the U.S. swine industry. 

Between September and November 2023, U.S. farms weaned approximately 34.6 million pigs, a slight decrease compared to the same period in the previous year. The average litter size was reported at 11.66 pigs, a figure that helps gauge the efficiency and health of the swine breeding industry. 

Looking forward, U.S. hog producers have plans for significant breeding activities. An estimated 2.90 million sows are expected to farrow between December 2023 and February 2024. The subsequent period, from March to May 2024, is projected to see a similar level of farrowing activity, with 2.91 million sows. 

The report also sheds light on regional disparities in hog populations. Iowa leads the nation with a staggering 24.9 million hogs, followed by Minnesota with 9.10 million, and North Carolina with 7.80 million. These figures underscore the vital role these states play in the U.S. swine industry. 

To compile this comprehensive report, NASS conducted extensive surveys involving 6,341 operators nationwide. The data collection was carried out using various methods, including electronic data recording, mail, telephone, and face-to-face interviews. 

This recent report is essential for stakeholders in the agricultural sector, providing valuable insights into the dynamics of the U.S. hog market. It reflects the ongoing trends in the industry, including breeding practices, market demands, and regional contributions to the national swine population.  

As the U.S. agricultural sector continues to evolve, such reports remain crucial in understanding and planning for the future of farming in America. 

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