Record production costs and so-so hog prices have left producers with red ink in nine of the last 11 months. Producers have responded by sending more sows to slaughter. Through August, sow slaughter was up more than 8 percent compared to the same period in 2007. It appears likely that fall and winter farrowings will be well below year-earlier levels. But since pigs‑per-litter rates have exceeded year-ago levels in 23 of the last 24 quarters, any reduction in the pig crop is almost certain to be smaller than the cutback in litters farrowed.