Hog slaughter has finally fallen to where economists expected it to be relative to last year, say Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economists. Slaughter for the past three weeks has been down 5.4 percent from a year earlier, based on preliminary data.

Live weights for the week ending Aug. 30 in Iowa-Minnesota were down 2.2 pounds per head from a week earlier and only 0.2 pounds per head above a year earlier. The Missouri economists believe the reduction in weights for the week ending Aug. 30 was due to the hot weather over the Western Cornbelt in late August.

Probabilities are near 100 percent that producers pulled marketings forward in mid-August in order to price hogs under the futures market contract, say Grimes and Plain. These hogs had to be marketed by mid-August to get the August basis.