Hog Operation Farm Size Trends by Number


By Paige Carlson, FarmJournal's Pork

September 20, 2022


In a study by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, Census of Agriculture data shows between 1997 and 2017, the number of hog operations with inventory declined by approximately one-third, while the average farm size nearly doubled.


It’s no secret the number of small hog operations have decreased over the past several decades. But, how much have these numbers really changed?


Here’s a look at U.S. hog operations and the percentage of hog inventory by farm size from 1997 and 2017.


Specifically, farms with 100 to 499 head and 500 to 999 head took the biggest hit, dropping nearly 1000% and 795%, respectively. Meanwhile, operations with 5,000 hogs or more rose 51% and went from producing approximately 40% of inventory to nearly 73%.


The following graph shows the steady incline of head per farm over the two decades. Interestingly, the data also shows when the number of operations declined, beginning in 1997 through the early 2000s. Since the early 2000s, the number of operations has remained relatively stable...


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