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Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
The US hog and pig farming industry includes about 75,000 farms with combined annual revenue of $18 billion. The industry is concentrated: about 20 percent of farms account for about 75 percent of revenue.
Hog farming involves six stages: breeding; gestation; birthing (known in the industry as farrowing); weaning; nursery; and grow finishing, where the hog reaches its ideal weight. While some large companies are vertically integrated and have farming, slaughter, and processing operations, the farming industry doesn’t include slaughter or processing. Processing of pork for consumption is covered in the Meat Products Manufacture industry profile.
Demand is driven primarily by domestic and international trends in pork consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and reducing the spread of disease. Large companies have advantages in vertically integrating operations from birthing to packaging and distribution. Small operations, typically family-owned farms, can compete by specializing in a single stage of hog farming or by raising animals that are humanely treated, antibiotic-free, or otherwise tailored to buyers’ specifications.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major services include farrow-to-finish; growing pigs and hogs to finishing; wean-to-finish; and breeding. Other services include farrow-to-wean and nursery operations.
A female hog (gilt) is ready to reproduce at eight months. Reproduction begins with mating a gilt and a boar or through artificial insemination. Gestation takes about four months.
Source: First Research