USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service released its March Hogs and Pigs Report today, showing slight increases from year-ago levels.
            
The report looks at the U.S. inventory of swine on farms as of March 1. For the category involving all hogs and pigs, 61.1 million head was reported, which is up 1 percent from March 1, 2006. However, it's 2 percent less than on Dec. 1, 2006. 

The breeding inventory, at 6.08 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, but down slightly from the previous quarter. 

The market hog inventory, at 55.0 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, but down 2 percent from last quarter.

Weight breakdowns within the market-hog category is as follows:

----------- 1,000 Head ----------------
                                    2006          2007        2007 as % of 2006
   Less than 60 lbs        19,988        20,265          101
   60-119 lbs                 13,006        13,086          101
   120-179 lbs.              11,434        11,423          100
   180 lbs. and higher      9,874        10,248          104

The December 2006/February 2007 pig crop, at 26.1 million head, was up 2 percent from 2006 and up 3 percent from 2005.  Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.87 million head, which is up 1 percent from both 2006 and 2005.  Sows that farrowed during this quarter represented 47 percent of the U.S. breeding herd. 

The average number of pigs saved per litter was 9.08 head for the December 2006/February 2007
period, compared to 9.03 last year.  Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.60 for operations with 1 to 99 hogs/pigs to 9.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs/ pigs.

For a look at the entire report, go to www.nass.usda.gov and look for "Quarterly Hog & Pigs Report."

U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.91 million sows farrow during the March-May 2007 quarter, down slightly from the actual farrowings, but up 1 percent from 2005.  Intended farrowings for June-August 2007, at 2.92 million sows, are virtually unchanged from both 2006 and 2005.

The total number of hogs under contract, owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 39 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, unchanged from last year. 
                              
Revisions   
               
All inventory and pig crop estimates for March 2006 through December 2006 were reviewed using final pig crop, official slaughter, death loss, and updated import and export data.  Based on the findings of this review, small adjustments of less than one-half of one percent were made to the March 1, 2006 total inventory, September 1, 2006 total inventory, March-May 2006 pig crop and the September-November pig crop.  An adjustment slightly larger than one-half of one percent was made to the June August 2006 pig crop.