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Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a census of all U.S. farms.  The latest map of where hogs are located shows continued clustering of hog production, with the two greatest concentrations of hogs found in northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota, and in eastern North Carolina. The Corn Belt from Ohio to Nebraska also has a substantial hog population.

Iowa’s hog inventory was more than a million head larger in 2012 than in 2007. During those same five years, North Carolina’s hog inventory declined more than a million head.

The top three hog states, Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota had 30.2 percent, 13.1 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, of the nation’s hogs in 2012. These three states account for more than half of the U.S. swine herd.   

In 2012 only 63,246 farms raised hogs. This was a decline of 16 percent from the number reported by the 2007 Census of Agriculture.

The 1935 Ag Census said 3.9 million U.S farms raised hogs. Each subsequent census has found fewer farms with hogs. The 1964 census was the last to find a million hog farms.  In 1950, more than half of U.S. farms raised hogs. Today only 3 percent of America’s 2,046,057 farms raise hogs.

Most hog farms have only a few hogs. In 2012 there were 41,688 farms that had from one to 24 head of hogs. Many of these small hog farms are 4-H and FFA projects. That same year there were only 21,558 farms that had more than 24 head of hogs in inventory. 

The 2012 census found fewer hog farms in each size category, except for one: The 5,000 head and larger group included 2,850 hog farms in 2007 and 3,007 hog farms in 2012. 

Click here to read more from the article, featured in the June issue of PorkNetwork magazine.