With assets of corn, soybeans, farmers and packing capacity, Iowa is the ideal location for pork production. The “Tall Corn” state also needs plenty of fertilizer to produce the bushels of corn and soybeans fed to pigs. Approximately 10 finishing pigs from weaning to market provide the nutrient needs of an acre of Iowa cropland on a semi-annual basis. Nutrients from one 2,400-head pig barn benefits a half-section of land (320 acres). One hog consumes approximately 9 to 10 bushels of corn and 100 pounds of soybean meal from birth to a market weight of 275 pounds!

Iowa Pork Industry Facts:

  • Iowa has more than 6,000 hog farms.
  • 94 percent of Iowa’s hog farms are family owned enterprises.
  • As of 2015, 141,813 jobs were associated with the Iowa pork industry.*
  • One in nearly 12 working Iowans has a job tied to the pork industry.*
  • Of the Iowa hog farms, 39 percent (2,451 farms) have 1,000 pigs or less.
  • At any one time, there are approximately 20 million pigs being raised in Iowa.
  • Iowa producers market approximately 50 million hogs a year.
  • Nearly one-third of the nation’s hogs are raised in Iowa.
  • Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports.
  • Exports of pork from Iowa totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2017.
  • Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are the leading customers for Iowa pork.

Iowa Pork Production Economic Contributions:

  • Hog production contributed $13.1 billion to the state economy in 2015.*
  • The pork industry contributed $36.7 billion in sales in 2015.*
  • Pork slaughtering and processing facilities generated $23.7 billion dollars in 2015.*

* Source: Decision Innovation Solutions 2017 Economic Contribution Study.