Another Record Pigs Saved Per Litter Lift Hog Populations
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An eighth consecutive quarter with a record pigs saved per litter ratio helped to grow hog populations in the U.S. year-over-year.  The quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released last week found that 74,561,000 hogs were on hand at the start of March, up one percent from a year ago.  Populations declined 1,245,000 during the winter, as 68,556,000 hogs were destined for market.

The population increase came even as the number of hogs kept for breeding dropped two percent to 6,016,000.  The winter’s pig crop increased two percent at 33,148,000, resulting in a quarterly record 11.53 pigs saved per litter, an increase of over one half from a year ago.  An estimated 5,902,000 sows are set to farrow over the next six months, 79,000 fewer than a year ago.

Missouri’s hog population decreased three percent from a year ago to 3.25 million.  35,000 fewer hogs were kept for breeding, totaling 435,000, while 2,815,000 hogs were destined for market.  However, Missouri’s sows farrowed 2.43 million pigs during the winter, virtually unchanged from a year ago, lifting the state’s pigs saved per litter rate to 11.3.  440,000 Missouri sows are expected to farrow in the next six months, 10,000 fewer than last year.