By Ron Plain –
According to USDA/NASS, there were 69,420 hog operations in the U.S. in 2004. That was 4,300 fewer than in 2003 and 591,130 fewer than in 1980, the last year in which the number of hog farms increased. The percentage decline in farm numbers from 2003 to 2004, 5.8%, was much smaller than the average for the previous decade, 10.2%.
Iowa not only has the most hogs, but also the most hog farms (9,200) followed by Minnesota (5,000), Ohio (4,000), Texas (3,900), and Illinois and Pennsylvania both with 3,400 hog operations.
Since the number of hogs remains fairly steady year to year, fewer farms raising hogs means the average size of U.S. hog operations keeps growing. In 2004, the average swine herd contained 871 hogs, up 6.3% from the year before and nine times the average inventory of 1980.
The number of U.S. hog operations with an inventory below 2,000 head decreased by 4,587 from 2003 to 2004 while the number of herds with more than 2,000 hogs in inventory increased by 287.
U.S. hog operations with an inventory below 2,000 head accounted for 89.3% of all hog farms and had 21% of the hogs. Those operations with more than 2,000 hogs in inventory accounted for 10.7% of hog farms, but had 79% of the hogs.
Of the 69,420 U.S. farms that raised hogs last year, only 60,830 owned hogs. The remaining 8,590 farms were raising someone else’s hogs, i.e. contract production. These contract producers raise nearly 40% of all U.S. hogs.
The U.S. had 1,150 firms that owned more than 5,000 hogs last year. These firms owned 75% of the hogs. There were 110 operations that owned more than 50,000 hogs at the end of 2004. These 110 firms owned 54% of all the hogs in the U.S. There were 41,900 hog farms whose hog inventory never exceeded 99 head in 2004. As a group, they raised 1% of U.S. hogs.
Source: The Pig Site