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March 31, 2006

Missouri Hog and Pig Numbers Below Year Earlier

The March 1, 2006 inventory of Missouri hogs and pigs is estimated at 2.70 million head according to the USDA’s Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service. This is down 5.3 percent from a year earlier but unchanged from the revised December 1, 2005 estimate. “Continuing the contraction in Missouri’s hog industry, the December and March numbers are the lowest inventories since 1991”, says Gene Danekas, Director. Breeding hogs are estimated at 345,000 head, up 4.5 percent from a year ago but unchanged from last quarter. Market hogs are estimated at 2.36 million head, down 6.5 percent from a year earlier but unchanged from December 1, 2005.

The December 2005-February 2006 pig crop was estimated at 1.50 million head, down 2.4 percent from the same period a year earlier and 4.1 percent below the previous quarter. Farrowings, at 165,000 sows, were down 5,000 head from a year ago and 10,000 head below last quarter. Pigs saved per litter, at 9.10 were up slightly from the 9.05 pigs saved a year earlier and increased 1.7 percent from the 8.95 pigs saved the previous quarter.

Missouri hog producers intend to farrow 170,000 sows during March-May 2006, the same as were actually farrowed during the same period a year earlier. During June-August 2006 hog producers also expect to farrow 170,000 sows, the same as the actual farrowings in June-August of 2005.

United States Hog Inventory Up 1 Percent

U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2006 was 60.1 million head. This was up 1 percent from March 1, 2005, but down 2 percent from December 1, 2005.

Breeding inventory, at 6.03 million head, was up 1 percent from last year and up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 54.1 million head, was up 1 percent from last year but down 2 percent from last quarter.

The December 2005-February 2006 pig crop, at 25.7 million head, was up 1 percent from 2005 and up 2 percent from 2004. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.84 million head, up slightly from both 2004 and 2005. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 47 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 9.03 for the December 2005-February 2006 period, compared to 8.94 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.50 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 9.10 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.90 million sows farrow during the March-May 2006 quarter, up 1 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in both 2004 and 2005. Intended farrowings for June-August 2006, at 2.92 million sows, are up slightly from 2005 and up 1 percent from 2004.

The total number of hogs under contract, owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 39 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, unchanged from last year.