2019 Iowa Pork Industry Facts:

On the Farm

  • Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports.
  • Nearly one-third of the nation’s hogs are raised in Iowa.
  • Iowa has more than 6,200 pig farms.
  • There are pig farmers in every Iowa county. The top five Iowa counties for pig production are Washington, Sioux, Lyon, Hamilton and Plymouth.
  • Iowa producers marketed almost 48 million hogs in 2018.
  • At any one time, there are approximately 22 million pigs being raised in Iowa.

The Economic Contribution

  • 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.*
  • Exports of pork from Iowa totaled more than $2.1 billion in 2018.
  • In 2018, Japan, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, and Hong Kong/China are the leading value export markets for Iowa pork. The largest export markets by volume were Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Hong Kong/China.**
  • 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.
  • 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. The production to fill that need is equal to 25% of all corn and soybean acres in Iowa.

The Sustainability Side of Pork

  • Livestock production in Iowa supplies about 25% of Iowa’s cropland fertilizer needs
  • Pork sustainability keeps improving. When compared to 1960, the use of natural resources per pound of pork produced has been reduced significantly. Nearly 76 percent less land is used, 25% less water, and 7% less energy. In all, that shrinks the carbon footprint by nearly 8%.***

* Source: Decision Innovation Solutions 2017 Economic Contribution Study.

**Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation 2018 Pork Export Statistics

***Source: A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015, University of Arkansas, 2018.