WASHINGTON – On Dec. 1, United States inventory of all hogs and pigs totaled 64.3 million head. This was down 1% from Dec. 1, 2009, and down 2% from Sept. 1, 2010, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Totaling 5.78 million head, breeding inventory was down 1% from last year, but up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 58.5 million head, was down 1% from last year, and down 2% from last quarter.

The September-November 2010 pig crop, at 28.2 million head, was down slightly from 2009. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.85 million head, down 2% from 2009. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49% of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 9.89 for the September-November 2010 period, compared to 9.70 last year.

Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.70 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.00 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

During the December 2010-February 2011 quarter, US hog producers intend to have 2.86 million sows farrow, down 1% from the actual farrowings during the December 2009-February 2010 quarter, and down 5% from December 2008-February 2009 quarter. Intended farrowings for March-May 2011, at 2.86 million sows, are down 2% from 2010 and down 5% from 2009.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 45% of the total US hog inventory, up from 44% last year.