The Overview of the United States Hog Industry report provides an official periodic review of efficiency trends and changes in the structure of the United States swine breeding herd. This report will also note changes in hog inventory, compare historic hog prices and review live hog imports and marketings. This report compares the current 2014 production year data to the 2008 production year data previously released in the Overview of the U.S. Hog Industry report, published in October 2009.

The efficiency of the United States breeding herd increased significantly from 1994 through 2012. However, due to the effects of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), the average number of pigs per breeding animal declined in 2013 and 2014. The average number of annual pigs per breeding herd animal (including sows, gilts and boars) was 19.5 in 2014, down from 19.8 in 2013, but up from 18.7 in 2008. The steady increase in the average number of pigs per breeding animal prior to 2013 was due to the increase in the number of litters per sow per year and the increase in litter rates.

Producers were able to increase pig crop while decreasing breeding herd and farrowings as a percent of the total inventory until the introduction of PEDv to the domestic herd in 2013. The average utilization of breeding females was 49 percent in 2014, up from 42 percent in 1994, but down from 50 percent in 2012. The size of the annual domestic pig crop increased 13 percent between 1994 and 2014 while the number of farrowings decreased 7 percent during the same period.

The influence of large operations, those with inventories of 5,000 or more hogs and pigs, on the United States annual litter rate has increased greatly since 1994. During that year, the average number of pigs weaned on operations with less than 5,000 head was 8.00. The average number weaned on all operations was 8.19 pigs per litter and the average on operations with 5,000 or more head was 8.73. By 2008, operations with 5,000 or more head weaned 9.48 pigs per litter while the average for all operations was 9.41 and the average for operations with less than 5,000 head was 8.93 pigs per litter. For the 2014 production year, operations with 5,000 or more head weaned 9.97 pigs per litter while the national average was 9.93 pigs per litter and operations with less than 5,000 head weaned 9.41 pigs per litter.

Historically, the majority of the annual pig crop was produced on operations with fewer than 5,000 hogs and pigs. By 1996, due to industry consolidation and the loss of many small operations, the percentages of the annual pig crop raised by operations with fewer than 5,000 head and by operations with at least 5,000 head were near equilibrium. For the 2014 production year, 93 percent of the annual pig crop was produced on operations with at least 5,000 head, up from 27 percent in 1994 and up from 88 percent in 2008. From information collected for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, only 5 percent of hog and pig operations had 5,000 or more head, but accounted for 68 percent of the nation’s inventory. Conversely, 95 percent of operations had fewer than 5,000 head, but accounted for only 32 percent of the inventory.

Producers have increased production of total hogs and pigs over the last 20 years while decreasing the size of the breeding herd. The breeding herd accounted for 12 percent of the total United States hogs and pigs inventory in 1994, but only accounted for 9 percent in 2014. From 1994 to 2014 the total United States hogs and pigs inventory increased 7 percent while the breeding herd decreased 19 percent.

Iowa continues to be the largest pork producing state in the country. As of December 1, 2014, Iowa accounted for 31.4% of the total United States hog and pig inventory. North Carolina (13.0%), Minnesota (12.0%), Illinois (6.9%) and Indiana (5.5%) round out the top five pork producing states. The hog Market Year Average price was at or below $50 every year between 1998 and 2009 before increasing to $76.50 in 2014. The corn market year average price increased from $2.00 per bushel in 2005 to $6.89 per bushel in 2012. This resulted in a marketing year hog to corn ratio of 9.3 for 2012. The market year average price per bushel of corn in 2014 was $3.65 leading to a marketing year hog to corn ratio of 21.0 for 2014 compared to a ratio of 11.6 in 2008.

Federally Inspected slaughter weights and dressing percentages have increased steadily for the last twenty years. In 1994, Federally Inspected live weights averaged 256 pounds per head. Dressed weights averaged 185 pounds resulting in an annual dressing percentage of 72 percent. For 2014, the average live weight had increased to 285 pounds while the average dressed weight increased to 214 pounds. This resulted in an average annual dressing percentage of 75 percent.

A product of increased slaughter weights and increased Market Year Average prices for hogs and pigs is an increased value per head. Although there has been fluctuation in the value per head, it has trended higher since 2008. The average value per head of all hogs and pigs in 2008 was $88.74. This resulted in a total value of 5.95 billion dollars for all hogs and pigs raised in the United States during that production year. The average value per head increased to $143.93 in 2014, resulting in a total value of 9.52 billion dollars for all hogs and pigs raised in the United States during that production year.

Gross income for United States hog and pig producers increased from 16.1 billion dollars in 2008 to 26.5 billion dollars in 2014. Additionally, gross income for meat animals (hogs and cattle) increased from 64.9 billion dollars in 2008 to 108.3 billion dollars in 2014.

Live imports into the United States continue to be important to the domestic hog industry, but have declined significantly since 2008. Imports of all hogs and pigs into the United States during 2014 totaled 4.9 million head, down 51 percent from the peak in 2007 (Source: USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service). Feeder pig imports from Canada during 2014 accounted for 3.9 million head, or 79.5 percent of the total 2014 imports into the United States (Source: USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service). The feeder pig imports accounted for approximately 15 percent of Canada’s annual pig crop (Source: Statistics Canada, Agricultural Division). These feeder pigs, if produced domestically, would require about 3 percent more breeding herd annually in the United States.

The majority of the annual hogs and pigs disposition is made up of marketings, which include custom slaughter for use on farms where produced and State outshipments, but exclude interfarm sales within the State. Marketings for the 2014 production year were 148.3 million head, up 47 percent from 101.1 million head in 1994 but down slightly from 148.8 million head in 2008.

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