Growing American Swine Herd |

Growing American Swine Herd |

In contrast to the decline in Europe, the number of pigs in the United States shows (small) growth. As of March 1, 2024, there were 74.57 million pigs in the United States. This is approximately 430,000 (+ 0.6 percent) more than on March 1, 2023. This is evident from the cattle survey recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on the cattle survey conducted in March.

In the category of piglets up to 23 kilograms, 20.75 million animals were counted in March 2024. This is an increase of 1.5 percent compared to 2023. This percentage increase was also noted for pigs from 23 to 54 kilograms. A total of 19.33 million of these were in the US stable in March. For fattening pigs up to 81 kilograms, the USDA represents a 0.3 percent increase to 15.8 million animals. The number of lean pigs weighing more than 81 kilograms decreased by 0.6 percent to 12.67 million animals. There is a decline in the number of breeding pigs. At 6.02 million animals, this is 2.1 percent less than last year.

Fewer throws

This decline in breeding pigs means the USDA expects a lower number of litters in the coming months. USDA estimates that from March to May 2024, 0.9 percent fewer pigs will be born than during the same period last year, with a June-to-August decline estimated at minus 1.7 percent.

High productivity

A decline in breeding sow numbers may not be fully reflected in piglet numbers. USDA notes that current plantings are significantly more productive than at the same time last year. The number of piglets raised per farrowing from December 2023 to February 2024 was 11.53 million animals, compared with 11.02 million animals (+4.6 percent) in the same period of the previous year. If this high performance continues, USDA said, U.S. piglet numbers will remain slightly higher in the coming months, even as sow numbers decline.

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