USDA’s Quarterly Hogs And Pigs report indicated new records for the 21st consecutive quarter, but a double-digit percentage drop in Missouri’s market hog population. According to the report, the state’s hog population as of December First was three-and-a-quarter million, down 400-thousand head from a year ago. With 490-thousand hogs kept for breeding, up 20-thousand head from a year ago, that left just two-point-seven-six million head destined for market, a 13-percent drop from a year ago. Among weight classes, there were 375-thousand fewer Missouri hogs weighing under 50 pounds, with hogs between 50 and 119 pounds witnessing a 75-thousand drop and those over 120 pounds increasing by just 30-thousand. The drop comes in spite of a seven-percent increase in Missouri’s pig crop, as 10-point-seven million pigs were farrowed from 987-thousand sows in the past year. The 10-point-eight-five pigs per litter rate is one-half pig greater than a year ago. Missouri producers expect to have 505-thousand sows farrowing in the next six months, up 18-thousand from last year.

America’s sows produced an average of 11 hogs per litter for the third straight quarter, setting a quarterly record of 11-point-zero-nine pigs per litter when three-point-one-seven million sows gave birth this past fall to 35-point-one million pigs. A total of 12-point-five-eight million sows farrowed in the past year, producing 138 million pigs. The pigs per litter rate of 10-point-nine-seven is four percent higher than a year ago. Overall, the nation’s hog population of 77-point-three-four million head is a three-percent increase from last year and about a quarter-million head higher than average trade estimates. Just over six-point-four-six million hogs were kept for breeding, up two percent, while the remaining 71-point-one million were destined for market, up three percent. Producers are expected to have six-point-two-eight million sows farrowing in the next six months, slightly higher than the previous year.