USDA: Hog population falls 3-percent

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The U.S. hog and pig inventory totaled 62.9 million as of March 1, down 3 percent from a year earlier and down 5 percent from three months earlier, USDA said today in a quarterly report. The figure is the smallest since early 2007.

The drop reflects the effects of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), a disease that was first confirmed in U.S. herds in Iowa in May and has since spread to 27 different states. The report did not mention PEDv.

Earlier this week, a Rabobank report said overall U.S. pork production is anticipated to decline 6 percent to 7 percent in 2014, the most in more than 30 years. Hog prices are already near record levels, but early indications are for the report to be initially bearish Monday morning.

Breeding inventory, at 5.85 million head, up slightly from last year. Market hot inventory, at 57 million head, was down 4% from last year and down 5% from last quarter.

The Dec 2013-Feb 2014 pig crop, at 27.3 million head, was down 3% from 2013. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.87 million head, up 3% from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was 9.53 head for Dec-Feb. That's down from 10.08 last year.

Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2014, was 3.05
million head, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was up 2 percent from March 1, 201 3, but
down 2 percent from December 1, 2013.
Breeding hog inventory, at 400,000 head, was up 3 percent from March 1, 2013,and up 3 percent from last quarter.
Market hog inventory, at 2.65 million head, was up 2 percent from last year, but down 2 percent from last quarter. The December 2013-February2014 Nebraska pig crop, at 1.79 million head, was up 4 percent from 2013. Sows farrowed during the period totaled 170,000 head,up 3 percent from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.55 for the December-February period,compared to 10.50 last year. Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 175,000 sows during the
March-May 2014 quarter, up 9 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago. Intended farrowings for June-August
2014 are 175,000 sows, up 6 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period the previous year.

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