WASHINGTON, June 26, 2015 – An estimated 66.9 million hogs and pigs were being raised in the U.S. on June 1, up 9 percent from a year earlier and up slightly from March 1, USDA said today in a quarterly report, more indication that the U.S. pork industry has recovered from the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).
The gastrointestinal virus first appeared in U.S. herds in the April 2013, eventually killing millions of animals, mostly piglets, through dehydration. Mature hogs often recovered. During the height of the outbreak last spring, cases were being confirmed on more than 300 farms a week. But in the week ended June 18, there were only 45 so-called “positive accessions,” according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
John Nalivka, president of Sterling Marketing in Vale, Oregon, said the statistics on pigs per litter from today’s report tell the story. In the March-through-May period, an average of 10.37 pig per litter were saved – a record for the quarter -- up from 9.78 in the same quarter a year earlier, USDA said in the report. Some 29.6 million piglets were born in the quarter, up 8 percent from 2013.
“Production efficiency is right back on track,” Nalivka said during a media conference call arranged by the Pork Checkoff to review the report. “It’s like we took 2014 out of the data.”
Some other highlights from today’s report:
--The June 1 breeding herd totaled 5.93 million head, up 1 percent from a year earlier, but down 1 percent from the previous quarter.
--The inventory of market hogs, at 61 million, was also up 9 percent from June 1, 2014.
--Producers intend to have 2.91 sows farrow during the June-through-August quarter, a 3 percent decline from the same period in 2014, but up 1 percent from 2013.