WASHINGTON – On March 1, US inventory of all hogs and pigs totaled 64 million head. This was up 1% from March 1, 2010, but down 1% from December 1, 2010, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Totaling 5.79 million head, breeding inventory was up slightly from last year and up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 58.2 million head, was up 1% from last year, but down 1% from last quarter.

Totaling 28 million head, the December 2010-February 2011 pig crop was up 1% from 2010 but down 2% from 2009. During this period, the number of sows farrowing totaled 2.86 million head, down 1% from 2010 and down 5% from 2009. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49% of the breeding herd. For the December 2010-February 2011 period, the average pigs saved per litter was a record high 9.80, compared to 9.61 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.50 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 9.90 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

During the March-May 2011 quarter, US hog producers intend to have 2.85 million sows farrow, which is down 3% from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2010, and down 5% from 2009. For June-August 2011, at 2.87 million sows, intended farrowings are down 3% from 2010 and down 3% from 2009.

Hogs under contract owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 46% of the total US hog inventory, up from 44% last year.