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Hog numbers up 1 percent year on year in quarterly hog report
 
By DOUG SCHMITZ
Iowa Correspondent

DES MOINES, Iowa – As of June 1, there were 74.5 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 1 percent from June 2023, and up slightly from March 1, according to the June 1 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, with one agricultural economist saying the report is “as expected.”
Steve Meyer, Ever.ag senior economist, said last month’s numbers were very close to pre-report estimates.
“The one exception is the breeding herd was down 1 percent more than what analysts expected and a little more than what I thought, and June-August farrowing intentions were down 1.1 percent, whereas March-May intentions were up 1 percent,” he said.
“I thought we would grow the breeding herd slightly as we went through this year, and then be larger than the breeding herd as we get out to December,” he added. “Right now, given the results of this report, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. So, we’re going kind of sideways here with just over 6 million head.”
Brett Stuart, Global AgriTrends president and co-founder, said, “I keep waiting to see when liquidation of the herd will actually outpace productivity and so far, that hasn’t happened.”
Meyer said the pigs per liter was 1.7 percent higher than a year ago, but was slightly lower than expectations, showing productivity is slowly easing: “It’s been up 3 percent to 4 percent over the last year or so.”
Meyer joined Stuart in analyzing the report at a June 27 webinar with reporters. Sponsored by the National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines, Iowa, the report said between March and May 2024, 34 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 2 percent from the same time one year earlier.
Released June 27, the report said from March through May 2024, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 11.56 pigs per litter, compared to 11.36 last year.
“Analysts thought it would go up by 2.3 percent,” Meyer said. “I thought it would beat that just a little bit, and it only went up by 1.7 percent. So, a little bit of slowing in the reproductive efficiency rate. We’ve been up 3 percent, and 4 percent over the last year or so.”
U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.96 million sows farrow between June and August 2024, the report said, and 2.94 million sows farrow between September and November 2024.
The report added Iowa hog producers had the nation’s largest inventory, at 24.6 million head. The March-May 2024 quarterly pig crop was 5.2 million head, up 2 percent from the previous quarter, but down 6 percent from last year. Minnesota had the second largest inventory at 9.2 million head, and North Carolina was third with 7.6 million head.  
In Indiana, total hog and pig inventory was estimated at 4.4 million head, down 50,000 head from a year ago. Breeding hog inventory, at 250,000 head, was down 4 percent from last June. Market hog inventory, at 4.15 million head, was down 1 percent from last year. The average pigs saved per litter for the March to May quarter was 11.55, compared to 11.10 from the same period last year.
In Illinois, total hog and pig inventory was 5.7 million head, up 3 percent from March 1, and up 5 percent from last year. Breeding inventory, at 660,000 head, was down 10,000 from the previous quarter, and down 10,000 from last year. Market hog inventory, at 5.04 million head, was up 3 percent from last quarter, and up 5 percent from last year.
In Michigan, total hog and pig inventory was estimated at 1.2 million head, down 40,000 head from a year ago. Breeding hog inventory, at 115,000 head, was unchanged from last June. Market hog inventory, at 1.09 million head, was down 4 percent from last year.
In Ohio, total hog and pig inventory was estimated at 2.45 million head, down 150,000 head from a year ago. Breeding hog inventory, at 180,000 head, was down 5 percent from last June. Market hog inventory, at 2.27 million head, was down 6 percent from last year. (Kentucky and Tennessee numbers were not included in the report.)
Although the report showed a slightly larger inventory than a year ago, Meyer said, “To turn the market and profitability around, we need better pork demand, lower costs and fewer pigs,” he said. “So far, we haven’t done much on supplies, and that’s really what this hogs and pigs report tells us.”

7/9/2024