Swine inventory bounces back from seven-year low

Swine inventory bounces back from seven-year low

Posted Sept. 29, 2014

Despite the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) that continues to attack swine farms in Iowa and 30 other states, the number of pigs has increased over the past three months.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released on Friday indicates the U.S. inventory on Sept. 1 was 65.4 million head, a 6 percent increase from June 1. The current hog count was down 2 percent from Sept. 1, 2013.

Iowa’s inventory jumped 8 percent from June to 20.7 million head, the third highest inventory on record. The 1.60 million head increase from June was the largest quarterly increase since 1997. Compared to Sept. 1, 2013, the inventory was down 1 percent.

Nationwide, the June-August 2014 pig crop, at 29.5 million head, was down 1 percent from 2013. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.91 million head, up 1 percent from 2013. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.16 for the June-August period, compared to 10.33 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 8.00 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

United States hog producers intend to have 2.89 million sows farrow during the September-November 2014 quarter, up 4 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2013, and up slightly from 2012. Intended farrowings for December-February 2015, at 2.87 million sows, are up 4 percent from 2014, and up 3 percent from 2013.

Iowa’s June-August quarterly pig crop was 5.46 million head, the biggest quarterly pig crop in 20 years. A total of 510,000 sows farrowed during this quarter, up 9 percent from the previous quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.70 for the June-August quarter, setting a new record for pigs saved per litter.

As of Sept. 1, producers planned to farrow 500,000 head of sows and gilts in the September-November 2014 quarter and 490,000 head during the December-February 2015 quarter.

Breeding inventory, at 5.92 million head, was up 2 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 59.4 million head, was down 3 percent from last year, but up 7 percent from last quarter.

PEDV initially surfaced in the U.S. swine herd in April 2013 and has since spread to 31 states. It primarily impacts newborn pigs and has killed an estimated 8 million head in the past year and a half.