U.S.D.A Pigs and Hogs Report - December 2001

by 5m Editor
30 December 2001, at 12:00am

This months quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The article provides the report text and graphs, and helps explain what it all means. Link also to the full PDF report.


This document aims to pull together, in one place of reference, all the various information generated by the USDA Quarterly report. This document includes: USDA Quarterly report
What it all means Will be updated as commentary appears
Graph data from the report Hog Inventories by State
(internal link) For a PRINTABLE VERSION of the full 30 page report in PDF format, including all the tabular data which is not shown in this article, Click Here


U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2001, was 58.8 million head. This was 1 percent below December 2000, and slightly below September 1, 2001.

Breeding inventory, at 6.21 million head, was down 1 percent from December 1, 2000, but 1 percent above last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 52.6 million head, was 1 percent below both last year and last quarter.

The September-November 2001 U.S. pig crop, at 25.0 million head, was 1 percent less than 2000, and slightly less than 1999. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.85 million head, slightly above last year. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 46 percent of the breeding herd.

The average pigs per litter was 8.78 pigs saved per litter for the September-November 2001 period, compared to 8.85 pigs last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.40 for operations with 1-99 hogs to 8.90 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.84 million sows farrow during the December 2001-February 2002 quarter, 3 percent above the actual farrowings during the same period in 2001, and 2 percent above 2000. Intended farrowings for March-May 2002, at 2.90 million sows, are 1 percent above the same period in 2001, and up 1 percent from 2000.

The number of hog operations with hogs totaled 81,130 during 2001, down 6 percent from last year and 18 percent below 1999. Places with 2,000 or more hogs on hand accounted for 9 percent of the operations and 75 percent of the inventory. This is the sixth time operations with inventories over 2,000 head have controlled over 50 percent of the total inventory.

The number of operations with over 5,000 head of inventory at, 2,204, accounted for 52.5 percent of the total inventory, up from 50.5 percent a year ago. The total number of hogs under contract, owned by these over 5,000 head operations, but raised by contractees, accounted for 33 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, up from 30 percent last year.


All inventory and pig crop estimates for March 2000 through September 2001 were reviewed using final pig crop, official slaughter, import, and export data in U.S. level balance sheets. Based on the findings of this review, small adjustments of less than one percent were made to the inventory level for June 1, 2001, and September 1, 2001. Adjustments of less than one half percent were made to the September-November 2000, December 2000-February 2001, and June-August 2001 pig crops, and less than one and a half percent to the March-May 2001 pig crop.


What the commentators and industry thinkers read into this data (note most of these articles are also accessible individually in the news section):

Continuing improvement in sow utilization rates thePigSite
Ron Plain looks at the USDA's December Pigs and Hogs report and concludes a number of points.

Iowa hog producers reap largest profits in decade DesMoines Register
Iowa hog producers had their most profitable year in a decade this year, and 2002 looks to be just as good, analysts said Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released this year's final quarterly hogs and pigs report.

US Hog and Swine Outlook - 28th December 2001 thePigSite
The December 1 Hogs and Pigs Report came in at the low end of the trade estimate. All 3 categories--market, breeding and total--were 99% of 12 months earlier.

Latest Pork Industry Profile AgWeb
When you hear reference to “independent pork producers” just who do you think of? Who are the “little guys” and who are the “factory farms”? A new set of numbers contained within USDA’s December 28, 2001 Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report demonstrate just how hard it is to define the entire pork industry now.


Reliability of December 1 Hogs and Pigs Estimates

Survey Procedures: A random sample of 16,000 U.S. producers was surveyed to provide data for these estimates. Survey procedures ensured that all hog and pig producers, regardless of size, had a chance to be included in the survey. Large producers were sampled more heavily than small operations. Data were collected from about 13,300 operations, 83 percent of the total sample, during the first-half of December by mail, telephone, and face-to-face personal interviews. Regardless of when operations responded, they were asked to report inventories as of December 1. Estimation Procedures: These hogs and pigs estimates were prepared by the Agricultural Statistics Board after reviewing recommendations and analysis submitted by each State office. National and State survey data were reviewed for reasonableness with each other and with estimates from past years using a balance sheet. The balance sheet begins with the previous inventory estimate, adds to it estimates of births and imports, and subtracts estimates of slaughter, exports, and deaths. This indicated ending inventory level is compared to the Agricultural Statistics Board estimate for reasonableness.

Revision Policy: Revisions to previous estimates are made to improve quarter to quarter relationships. Estimates for the previous four quarters are subject to revision when current estimates are made. In December, estimates for all quarters of the current and previous year are reviewed. The reviews are primarily based on hog check-off receipts and slaughter. Estimates will also be reviewed after data from the Department of Agriculture five-year Census of Agriculture are available. No revisions will be made after that date.

Reliability: Since all operations raising hogs are not included in the sample, survey estimates are subject to sampling variability. Survey results are also subject to non-sampling errors such as omissions, duplication, and mistakes in reporting, recording, and processing the data. The affects of these errors cannot be measured directly. They are minimized through rigid quality controls in the data collection process and through a careful review of all reported data for consistency and reasonableness.

To assist users in evaluating the reliability of the estimates in this report, the "Root Mean Square Error" is shown for selected items in the following table. The "Root Mean Square Error" is a statistical measure based on past performance and is computed using the difference between first and final estimates. The "Root Mean Square Error" for hog inventory estimates over the past 20 quarters is 1.0 percent. This means that chances are 2 out of 3 that the final estimate will not be above or below the current estimate of 58.8 million head by more than 1.0 percent. Chances are 9 out of 10 that the difference will not exceed 1.7 percent.

Source: December 2001 Monthly Hogs and Pigs Report - USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service