The January 2006 opening of the Triumph Foods plant in St. Joseph, Mo., has pushed daily hog slaughter capacity to a record level—about 428,000 head. Prior to September 2006, daily hog slaughter had exceeded 410,000 head only three times. In September, hog slaughter reached beyond 410,000 head 15 times.

Since Sept. 1, hog slaughter has been 1 percent higher than implied in USDA’s last inventory report.