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U.S. swine inventory at lowest level in seven years

Posted June 30, 2014

The number of hogs and pigs on Iowa farms and others across the U.S. continue to decline, according to the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Hogs and Pigs report released June 27.

Iowa farms had 19.2 million hogs and pigs as of June 1, the state’s lowest hog inventory since March 2011. The June 1 inventory was down 3 percent from March 2014 and down 4 percent from a year ago.

Across the nation as of June 1, the hog and pig inventory was 62.1 million head, the lowest level since 2007.

Iowa’s March-May quarterly pig crop was 4.98 million head, USDA said. A total of 470,000 sows farrowed during this quarter, down 5 percent from the previous quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.60 for the March-May quarter, rebounding from 9.90 the previous quarter.

As of June 1, Iowa pig farmers planned to farrow 495,000 head of sows and gilts in the June-August 2014 quarter. Farrowing intentions for the September-November 2014 quarter are estimated at 485,000.

Other key findings in the report were:

• Of the 62.1 million hogs and pigs, 56.3 million were market hogs, while 5.85 million were kept for breeding.
• Between March and May 2014, 27.4 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, down 5 percent from the same time period in 2013.
• U.S. hog farmers intend to have 2.89 million sows farrow between June and August 2014, and 2.88 million sows farrow between September and November 2014.
• From March through May 2014, U.S. pig farmers weaned an average of 9.78 pigs per litter.
• With 19.2 million head, Iowa had the largest inventory among the states. Minnesota and North Carolina had the second and third largest inventories, with 7.8 million and 7.7 million head respectively.
• While the national swine inventory has decreased since June 2013, growers in Texas, South Dakota and Michigan increased the number of hogs and pigs in their states.

To obtain an accurate measurement of the current state of the U.S. pork industry, NASS surveyed more than 7,800 operators across the nation during the first half of June. NASS interviewers collected the data by mail, telephone and through face-to-face personal interviews. NASS asked all participating producers to report their hogs and pigs inventories as of June 1, 2014.

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