2020 Iowa Pork Industry Facts

On the Farm

  • Iowa is the No. 1 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 5,400 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 24 million pigs being raised in Iowa.

The Economic Contribution

  • As of 2019, 147,105 jobs were associated with the Iowa pork industry.*
  • One in nearly 10 working Iowans has a job tied to the pork industry.*
  • Exports of pork from Iowa totaled more than $2.1 billion in 2018.
  • In 2019, Japan, Mexico, China, Canada, and South Korea were the leading value export markets for Iowa pork. The largest export markets by volume were Mexico, China, Japan, Canada and South Korea.*
  • Hog production contributed $13.1 billion to the state economy in 2015.*
  • The pork industry contributed $40.8 billion in sales in 2019.*
  • Pork slaughtering and processing facilities generated 66% of the sales, hog production generates 34% of sales.*
  • From wean to 270 lbs., a pig eats approximately 12 bu. of corn and 2.5 bu. of soybeans.
  • During the year, Iowa pigs will eat corn from 22% of Iowa corn acres and 23% of Iowa soybean acres.

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% less land is used, 25% less water, and 7% less energy. In all, that shrinks the carbon footprint by nearly 8%.***

Learn more Iowa pork facts

Learn more U.S. pork facts

*Source: Decision Innovation Solutions 2020 Economic Contribution Study.

2020 Iowa Pork Economic Contribution infographic

**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.