Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 4/8/2019
MARCH 1 HOG HERD METRICS

As of March 1st, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) estimated the U.S. hog population increased in-line with market expectations. All hogs were 2% above a year ago, composed of similar percentage increases for breeding and market hogs. The December 2018-February 2019 pig crop increased by 3% from a year earlier with sows farrowing up 2% and pigs per litter up 1%. Intended farrowings for the March-May quarter were pegged to be up 1% from a year earlier, and June-August farrowing intentions were close to unchanged from the same months in 2018.


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U.S. MEAT GOAT TRENDS

The U.S. goat market warrants attention, but total meat goat inventory has struggled to rebuild to the levels seen pre-recession. The highest meat goat inventory reported was on January 1, 2008, at 2.6 million head. Since then inventories have been declining and in the most recent five years have been close to 2.1 million animals. Some states have seen significant increases in their meat goat population. The January 1, 2019 meat goat inventory by USDA-NASS reported year-over-year gains of 10% or in Arizona, Florida, and Washington. An additional six states had increases of 5% to 10%. 


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THE BALANCE OF THIS U.S. CATTLE INVENTORY CYCLE MAY BE UNUSUAL

From one bottom to the next, the last 7 U.S. cattle inventory cycles have averaged 11.9 years (from 10 to 15 years). The most recent low point was the January 1, 2014 count (all cattle and calves totaled 88.5 million). After five consecutive years of cyclically larger U.S. cattle numbers (beginning with the January 1, 2015, count by NASS), the next few years of the current cycle may be unusual. The largest annual increase in the total U.S.


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