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Record Hog Numbers Reported by USDA as of June First- 79.6 Million Head Found on US Farms

Record Hog Numbers Reported by USDA as of June First- 79.6 Million Head Found on US Farms

The USDA released their quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Thursday afternoon- the first report that shows the impact of the COVID 19 hog processing disruptions. The USDA says there were a record number of hogs and pigs in the U.S. on June 1st- but does seem to point to tighter hog numbers later this year and into 2021. The Daily Livestock Report reviewed the numbers and here are some of their comments- focusing on three areas- Hogs weighing 180 pounds and over, farrowings, and pigs per litter:

"USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the June 1 Hogs & Pigs report yesterday. All hogs and pigs totaled 79.6 million head on June 1, this is a 5.2% (3.9 million head) increase from 2019. Total market hogs increased 5.8% to 73.3 million head while hogs kept for breeding declined 1.3% to just over 6.3 million head.

"Hogs weighing 180 pounds and over: Average estimates were expecting a 16.6% increase to 15.2 million head from last year with a wide range from up 2.2% to 26.8% (13.3-16.5 million head). The actual number was nearly 14.7 million head, up 12.8%, and almost half a million head lower than pre-report estimates. Surprisingly, the 120-179 pound category was 16.1 million head, an 11.8% increase from last year and well above pre-report estimates which expected a 5.2% increase. Likely, the hogs in this category would have been just weaned when the COVID-19 events started to unfold. Instead of euthanizing these hogs, producers may have switched to slow, no growth, maintenance rations to slow the hog’s progression through the supply chain until slaughter capacity issues could be resolved. The under 50 pounds and 50-119 pound categories were 22.2 and 20.4 million head, respectively, down 0.2% and up 3.4% from last year.

"Farrowings and farrowing intentions: March to May farrowings were 3.2 million head, up 1.2% from last year. June to August farrowing intentions are 3.1 million head, which would be a 4.6% decrease from 2019. September to November farrowing intentions is expected to further decline 5.4% to just under 3.1 million. The continued slide in farrowing intentions indicates that producer expectations for the remainder of 2020 are slipping.

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