USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is out with its quarterly Hogs and Pigs report and it shows a drop in swine numbers since December.
Iowa pig farmers had 21.8 million hogs and pigs as of March 1, a drop of 3 percent from the previous quarter, but up 8 percent from the previous year.
The December 2016-February 2017 quarterly pig crop was 5.70 million head, down 7 percent from the previous quarter, but 7 percent above last year. A total of 530,000 sows farrowed during this quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.75 for the December-February quarter, down from 10.90 the previous quarter.
As of March 1, producers planned to farrow 520,000 sows and gilts in the March-May quarter and 525,000 head during the June-August quarter.
United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1 was 71.0 million head. This was down 1 percent from December 1, 2016, but up 4 percent from March 1, 2016.
Breeding inventory, at 6.07 million head, was down slightly from the previous quarter, but up 1 percent from last year.
Market hog inventory, at 64.9 million head, was down 1 percent from last quarter, but 4 percent higher than last year.
The December 2016-February 2017 pig crop, at 31.4 million head, was up 4 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.01 million head, up 3 percent from 2016. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high of 10.43 for the December-February period, compared to 10.30 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 8.00 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.50 for operations with more than 5,000 animals.
United States hog producers intend to have 3.01 million sows farrow during the March-May 2017 quarter, up 1 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2016, and up 5 percent from 2015. Intended farrowings for June-August 2017, at 3.05 million sows, are down slightly from 2016, but up 1 percent from 2015.
The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 48 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, the same as the previous year.