Hogs, pigs rebound from PEDv

by Erica Shaffer
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WASHINGTON – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) continues to be a threat to hog herds in the United States and in different parts of the world. But the US hog inventory is starting to recover from losses sustained since 2013 when the virus made its first-ever appearance in the US, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report of the US Department of Agriculture.

Inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1 totaled 65.9 million head, a 7 percent increase from a year ago, but down slightly from Dec. 1, 2014, figures. Meanwhile, market-hog inventory advanced 8 percent to 60.0 million head, a slight decline from the previous quarter.

Breeding inventory climbed 2 percent compared to a year ago, 1 percent from the previous quarter to total 5.98 million head.

USDA reported the December 2014 – February 2015 pig crop increased 9 percent to 28.8 million head. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.83 million head, up 2 percent from a year ago. Sows farrowed during the quarter represented 48 percent of the breeding herd.

The average pigs saved per litter reached a record high 10.17 for the December-February quarter compared to 9.53 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.90 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs, USDA said.

Producers' farrowing intentions for the March-May 2015 quarter are 2.87 million sows farrow, up 2 percent from the actual farrowings during the comparable period in 2014, and up 2 percent from 2013. Intended farrowings for the June – August 2015 period declined 2 percent to 2.93 million sows, but increased 1 percent from 2013.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 46 percent of the total US hog inventory, down from 48 percent compared to 2014, USDA reported
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