On Wednesday, February 4, the USDA released the 2007 Census of Agriculture (http://www.agcensus.usda.gov). This census gives us a very detailed look at the structure of America’s production agriculture base. Included in the census are details regarding on-farm inventories on December 31, 2007 and sales during the 2007 calendar year.
Most state ag statistic bureaus no longer report yearly hogs and pigs data by county within a state due to budget restrictions. Thus, the Census of Ag, which is conducted every 5 years, becomes our only opportunity for data on specifics of pig production in specific counties within states.
One of the statistics reported is the number of pigs sold. This number includes market pigs, feeder and weaned pigs and cull breeding stock. While somewhat confusing due to the possible mix of sales, never the less the data gives some indication of the economic impact of pork production within a county.
In 2007, the top 10 counties in the US for sales of hogs and pigs were (number of pigs sold in million head): Sampson, NC (9.25), Duplin, NC (8.51), Bladen, NC (3.65), Texas, OK (3.10), Sioux, IA (2.94), Martin, MN (2.17),Wayne, NC (2.14), Plymouth, IA (2.07), Blue Earth, MN (1.83), and Lyon, IA (1.61).
On December 31, 2007, the top 10 counties in the US for inventory of hogs and pigs were (number of pigs in thousand head): Duplin, NC (2,285), Sampson, NC (2,156), Texas, OK (1,146), Sioux, IA (1,094), Hardin, IA (875), Bladen, NC (812), Plymouth, IA (765), Kossuth, IA (747), Martin, MN (692), and Franklin, IA (600).
There were 17 counties in the US identified with inventories on December 31, 2007 greater than 500,000 pigs. Of these 17 counties, there were 10 in Iowa (Carroll, Franklin, Hardin, Kossuth, Lyons, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, Washington and Wright), 4 in North Carolina (Bladen, Duplin, Sampson and Wayne), 2 in Minnesota (Martin and Blue Earth) and 1 in Oklahoma (Texas). The large number of Iowa counties with inventories greater than 500,000 pigs supports the December 1, 2008 USDA Hogs and Pigs report which listed Iowa with 30.9% of all pigs in the kept for market category.