Nation's hog inventory on a gradual climb
According to the latest quarterly report, the nation's inventory of hogs and pigs continues to build very gradually.
The report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated that the inventory for June 1 was up by one percent both from March 1 of this year and from June 1 of 2011.
That percentage applied to both the breeding herd inventory of 5.86 million head and to the market hog total of 60 million head on June 1.
The March through May 2012 pig crop of 29.4 million head was also one percent more than for those months in 2011. The 2.92 million sows farrowed during that period represented 50 percent of the breeding herd, the report noted.
A pork production record for the month of May was set this year with a total of 1.93 billion pounds. The 9.28 million hogs which were slaughtered had an average weight of 277 pounds.
A record high average of 10.09 pigs saved per litter was also set during the March through May statistical quarter. The previous record was 10.03 pigs saved in 2011.
There was a major difference, however, in the number of pigs per litter saved depending on the size of the hog operation. The range was from a low of 7.50 for those with up to 99 hogs to a high of 10.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.
As of June 1, the hog inventories for the top five states had Iowa with 10.2 million head, North Carolina with 8.7 million, Minnesota at 7.8 million, Illinois at 4.65 million, and Indiana with 3.8 million. The nation's total was 65.829 million.
Wisconsin is not among the top 16 states in hog production. Its numbers are included only with the annual report for the December 1 inventory.