USDA released its March Hogs and Pigs Report this afternoon (March 24), which generally shows little new production activity is occurring within the industry. The final numbers lined up closely to pre-report estimates. Here are some highlights:

  • The inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, was up 1 percent at 59.9 million head. That number is down 1 percent from the Dec. 1, 2004 numbers.
  • Breeding inventory, at 5.94 million head, was down slightly from March 1, 2004, as well as from last quarter’s numbers.
  • Market hog inventory, at 54.0 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, but down 1 percent from last quarter.
  • The December 2004/February 2005 U.S. pig crop came in at 25.5 million head, up 2 percent from 2004 and up 4 percent from 2003.
  • Sows farrowing during December/February period totaled 2.85 million head, up 1 percent from last year. Those sows represent 48 percent of the U.S. breeding herd.
  • The average number of pigs saved per litter was 8.94 for the December/February period, compared to 8.85 pigs last year.
  • Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.50 for operations with 1-99 hogs to 9 pigs for operations with more than 5,000 hogs.
  • U.S. pork producers intend to farrow 2.87 million sows during the March/May quarter, unchanged from 2004’s actual farrowings, but 1 percent below 2003.
  • Farrowings intentions for June/August, at 2.88 million sows, are down 1 percent from the same period in both 2004 and 2003.
  • States showing breeding herd increases from March 2004 to 2005 are: Illinois, up 5 percent; Iowa, up 4 percent; Oklahoma, up 3 percent.
  • The market hogs and pigs weight breakouts are as follows:
    Less than 60 pounds = 19.817 million head, unchanged from March 2004 levels
    60 to 119 pounds = 13.087 million, 1 percent more than in 2004
    120 to 179 pounds = 11.430 million, up 2 percent from 2004
    180 pounds and greater = 9.624 million, unchanged from March 2004 levels
  • Total number of hogs raised via contract, owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 39 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory. That’s up from last year’s level at 37 percent.

For more details of the report, go to