Breeding inventory, at 5.81 million head, came in flat compared to a year ago but declined 1 percent since the previous quarter, according to the report. Market hog inventory gained slightly to 62.5 million head and 3 percent from the last quarter.
The June-August 2013 pig crop climbed 2 percent to 30.2 million head, while sows farrowing during the period declined slightly to 2.92 million head. USDA said the sows farrowed during the quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. Average pigs saved per litter reached a record 10.33 for the June-August period, compared to 10.13 a year ago. The higher number of pigs saved per litter may indicate that a porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak isn't impacting the hog herd as much as USDA originally thought.
USDA reported producers intend to have 2.90 million sows farrow during the September-November 2013 quarter, up slightly from the actual farrowings during the comparable period in 2012. Farrowing intentions for December-February 2014 are at 2.87 million sows, an increase of 1 percent from 2013, and up slightly from 2012.