The U.S. hog herd has gotten smaller, but there are some signs that contraction might be slowing down.
The USDA says there were 73.8 million hogs and pigs in the U.S. on September 1st, 2022, up 2% from June 1st, but down 1% from September 1st, 2021. That was with 1% year-to-year reductions for both the market and the breeding herds at 67.648 million and 6.152 million head, respectively.
However, the breeding herd was only down slightly on the quarter and the market hog inventory moved higher, which might be signs that producers are starting to shift away from contraction thanks to improvements in demand.
Hog herd down on year, but contraction might be getting slower