U.S. pork production has gone through expansion and contraction cycles for as long as USDA has kept inventory records. What has not been constant is the hog cycle’s length and the variation from peak to valley. 

USDA’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs Reports show the U.S. swine breeding herd reached a cycle low in 2004, with a clear cycle peak in December 2007. The breeding herd has declined by 150,000 sows since then. Given the red ink that continues to plague producers, further inventory declines are clearly needed.