USDA Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Report: March 2006

This quarter's 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.
calendar icon 31 March 2006
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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: March 2006 What It All Means - Expert Commentary In The News - What The Media Says Graph Data From The Report Hog Inventories by State (external link - select State and navigate to file)

For a PRINTABLE VERSION of the full 27 page report in PDF format, including all the tabular data which is not shown in this article, Click Here

US Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Inventory: March 2006

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, 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.

US Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Inventory: March 1

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.


All inventory and pig crop estimates for March 2005 through December 2005 were reviewed using final pig crop, official slaughter, death loss, and updated import and export data. Based on the findings of this review, small adjustments of less than one-half of one percent were made to the September 2005 and December 2005 total inventory. An adjustment of slightly larger than one-half of one percent was made to the June-August pig crop.

What It All Means - Expert Commentary

What the commentators and industry thinkers read into this data:

John Lawrence Professor John Lawrence, Iowa State University
Pork Industry Continues Slow Expansion
US - On March 31 the USDA released the quarterly hog and pig report as of March 1, 2006. As expected the number of hogs nationally continues a modest increase, with approximately 1 percent growth in total hog inventories.
Breeding hog numbers have increased to over 6 million head nationally, up 1.4 percent from a year ago (Table 1). Market hog numbers are currently at just over 54 million head, up more than half a percent.
Continue reading this report here

Ron Plain Ron Plain and Glenn Grimes
Hogs and Pigs Report - March 2006
The March Hogs and Pigs Report came in a bit more bullish than the trade estimates. The report was modestly more bullish than our estimates.
The total number of hogs and pigs on farms March 1 was up 0.7%, the breeding herd was up 1.4%, and the market herd was up 0.6%. If this report is correct, U.S. hog producers continue to use restraint in building the herd.
Continue reading this report here

In The News - What The Media Says

Graph Data from the Report

US Quarterly Litter Rate: December - February

US Pigs Per Litter
By Size of Operation: Dec 2005 - Feb 2006

US Quarterly Sows Farrowed: December - February

US Quarterly Pig Crop: December - February

March 1 Hog Inventory and Market Hogs (US)

June 1 Hog Inventory and Market Hogs (US)

September 1 Hog Inventory and Market Hogs (US)

December 1 Hog Inventory and Market Hogs (US)

Reliability of March 1 Hogs and Pigs Estimates

Survey Procedures: A random sample of roughly 9,900 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. During the first half of December data were collected from about 8,100 operations, 82 percent of the total sample. The data collected were received by electronic data reporting (EDR), mail, telephone, and face-to-face personal interviews. Regardless of when operations responded, they were asked to report inventories as of March 1.

Estimation Procedures: These hogs and pigs estimates were prepared by the Agricultural Statistics Board after reviewing recommendations and analysis submitted by each field 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 the estimates of births and imports, and subtracts the 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 1.1 percent. This means that chances are 2 out of 3 that the final estimate will not be above or below the current estimate of 60.1 million head by more than 1.1 percent. Chances are 9 out of 10 that the difference will not exceed 1.9 percent.

Source: Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, March 2006 - USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
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