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US Swine Industry Productivity Analysis, 2005 to 2010

06 November 2013

Changes were observed in pig industry trends in the US between 2005 and 2010 in terms of both direction and magnitude, according to a new study. Breeding performance measures generally improved, as did mortality in the breeding and feeding sectors although no progress was made in feed conversion over the period studied.

In Journal of Swine Health and Production, Mark T. Knauer of North Carolina State University and PhD; Chris E. Hostetler of the US National Pork Board report their study to quantify US swine production trends for sow-farm and grow-finish traits from a large available database.

Data were provided by a data management company, representing annual production of approximately 1.8 million sows in the United States.

Sow-farm traits included pigs per mated female per year, litters per mated female per year, total number born, number born alive, number weaned, pre-weaning mortality, weaning age, weaning weight, replacement rate, culling rate, sow mortality, lactation-feed intake and gestation-feed intake.

Grow-finish traits included entry age, entry weight, exit age, exit weight, average daily gain, feed efficiency, caloric efficiency and mortality.

The researchers found that, from 2005 to 2010, pigs per mated female per year, litters per mated female per year, number born alive, number weaned, weaning age, weaning weight and lactation feed intake increased (P<0.05).

Sow mortality decreased (P<0.05) and replacement rate did not change (P>0.05).

Entry age and entry weight increased (P<0.05) for nursery and wean-to-finish pigs.

Average daily gain improved for nursery and finishing production (P<0.05) but not for wean-to-finish (P>0.05). No improvements were made for finishing caloric efficiency (P>0.05), and wean-to-finish caloric efficiency worsened (P<0.05).

They found that mortality for both finishing and wean-to-finish operations improved (P<0.05).

Knauer and Hostetler conclude that both scientists and producers can use these results to understand better US sow-farm and grow-finish production levels. Pig industry trends from 2005 to 2010 indicate varied degrees of improvement for pig production traits.


Knauer M.T. and C.E. Hostetler. 2013. US swine industry productivity analysis, 2005 to 2010. J Swine Health Prod. 21(5):248–252.

Further Reading

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November 2013

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