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The Long-Term Trend in Hog Numbers

Published on: 09:18AM May 22, 2014

We recently reviewed the trend in cattle numbers based on the 2012 census. Those numbers show a decrease in cattle numbers and we had assumed that hog numbers would actually show a small increase in numbers due to the recent profitability numbers for hogs. However, since the last census was in 2007 which was before the couple of years of large negative losses, the final numbers for 2012 show a small decrease in numbers.

As of 2012, total hogs in the US is about 66 million down from 67.8 million hogs in 2007. The peak numbers over the last 15 years was in 1997 with about 61.2 million head.

There are 13 states with more than 1 million hogs and the top five are:

  • Iowa - 20.5 million
  • North Carolina - 8.9 million
  • Minnesota - 7.6 million
  • Illinois - 4.6 million
  • Indiana - 3.7 million

Iowa has more hogs than almost the next three highest states combined. Since 1997, only two states have shown a large increase in hog numbers. Iowa increased their herd from 14.5 to 20.5 million an increase of about 6 million hogs or 41%. The only other state with a large increase was Minnesota going from 5.7 to 7.6 million, an increase of 1.9 million or about 24%.

On the reduction side, it is interesting to note that Arkansas in 1997 had almost 900,000 head, while in 2012, these numbers had dropped to 100,000 or a decrease of 87%. Arkansas went from being ranked 14th in production in 1997 to being number 29 in 2012. I am not sure why Arkansas had the large drop in hog numbers. This may be a good post in the future. Perhaps when I recap the chicken numbers, we will find that Arkansas had a large increase in those numbers to offset the hog decrease.

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