Operations with more than 5,000 head accounted for 88 percent of the pig crop in 2008 compared to 82 percent in 2005. Conversely, operations with less than 5,000 head accounted for 18 percent of the pig crop in 2005 but only 12 percent in 2008.
The litter rate for operations with less than 5,000 head averaged 8.93 pigs per litter in 2008, up from 8.66 in 2005. The litter rate for operations with more than 5,000 head increased from 9.10 in 2005 to 9.48 in 2008.
The hog operation estimates as illustrated in Graphs 6 and 7 show a break in the series from 2006 to 2007. In preparation for the 2007 Census of Agriculture, NASS exerted extensive efforts to build a comprehensive list of producers, which allowed NASS to capture more limited-resource and small farms. The 2007 Census of Agriculture indicated a larger number of hog operations existed than previously estimated with the majority of the increase in operations coming from operations having 1-99 head. The break in the series reflects the fact that newer information for years prior to 2007 was not available to make revisions.
The overall trend for operations with less than 5,000 head continues to show a decrease, while operations with more than 5,000 head continue to increase. Operations with more than 5,000 head accounted for 61.1 percent of the total hog and pig inventory in 2008. The ten largest hog states account for over 85 percent of the total hog and pig inventory.
All hog market year average prices have been between $46 and $51 per cwt since 2005. However, the corn market year average price has increased from $2.00 per bushel in 2005 to $3.90 per bushel in 2008. This has led to a hog to corn ratio of 10.0 in 2008 compared to a ratio of 25.3 in 2005.
Canadian hog imports continue to be a factor in the U.S. hog industry. Imports of all Canadian hogs for 2008 totaled 9.3 million head, up 14 percent from 2005. Feeder pig imports in 2008 were up 30 percent from 2005 and accounted for 7.0 million head of the total 2008 imports. The feeder pig imports accounted for approximately 23 percent of Canada’s annual pig crop.