USDA released its September Hogs and Pigs Report today, and it showed the U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs at 61.5 million head. That's just slightly than last September, and 1 percent over the June 1 level. 

The breeding inventory came in at 5.97 million head-- less than 1 percent higher than September 2004, and down less than 1 percent from June.

The Sept. 1, market hog inventory at 55.6 million head, was virtually unchanged from last year's level, but is up 2 percent from last quarter.

Looking at the pig crop for the June/August period, the numbers come in at 26.3 million head, again only slightly higher than last September's levels and 1 percent higher than in 2003.

Sows farrowing during the June/August period totaled 2.90 million head, down slightly from last year.  Those sows represented 49 percent of the breeding herd.  The average number of pigs saved per litter was 9.07, compared to 9.01 last year. The number of pigs saved per litter by operation size broke out as follows:
7.60 for operations with 1 to 99 hogs/pigs to 9.10 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

U.S. pork producers intend to have 2.89 million sows farrow during September/November, which is unchanged from the actual farrowings that occurred last year at the time. It is, however, 1 percent more than 2003 farrowings for that period. Farrowing intentions for December 2005/February 2006 are reported at 2.88 million sows, which is 1 percent higher than in the comprable periods in both 2004/2005 and 2003/2004.

Total number of hogs under contract, owned by producers marketing more than 5,000 head annually, but raised by contractees, accounted for 39 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory. That's unchanged from this time last year.

Sept. 1 Inventory   2004    2005  % Change 
                   (Million Head)
All Hogs and Pigs 61.519  61.536  Unchanged
Kept for Breeding  5.938   5.972  Unchanged
Market Hogs       55.556  55.563  Unchanged
Market Hogs and Pigs 
by Weight Groups   (Million Head)  % of Sept. 1, 2004 
Under 60 Pounds    20.729  20.634  Unchanged 
60-119 Pounds      13.613  13.716  +1%
120-179 Pounds     11.235  11.384  +1% 
180 Pounds and Over 9.981   9.830  -2%

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service