Pork Powerhouses 2019: Expansion Continues

The exclusive ranking of the Top 40 U.S. pig producers shows 66,000 more sows.


By Betsy Freese, Successful Farming

Agriculture.com - 10/1/2019


The U.S. pork industry is still expanding, despite tariffs, labor challenges, and global disease risks. The nation’s largest pig producers added 66,000 sows in 2019, according to the annual exclusive Pork Powerhouses Top 40 ranking by Successful Farming magazine.


The total sow count for these largest producers, at 4.28 million, adds up to about two-thirds of the sows in the U.S.


Breaking down the list, about half (19) of the companies added sows, nine decreased numbers, and 12 stayed the same. Of the companies adding sows this year, only a few did it by acquisition – the majority of the growth was new construction.


The largest producer, Smithfield Foods, owned by the Hong Kong-based publicly traded company WH Group, reduced sows this year to 942,000 from 950,000 in 2018...


Top states where companies are headquartered in 2019:


Iowa: 9


Minnesota: 8


North Carolina: 5


Ohio: 4


Illinois: 3


Other large farms that fell just below the Top 40 ranking in 2019: 


Ernest Smith Farms / Garland, NC: 22,000 sows


Heimerl Farms / Johnstown, OH: 21,000 sows (a producer partner in Clemens Foods)


Belstra Milling Co. / DeMotte, IN: 19,000 sows (a producer partner in Clemens Foods)


Dykhuis Farms / Holland, MI: 19,000 sows


New Horizon Farm / Pipestone, MN: 16,500 sows


Hitch Pork Producers / Guymon, OK: 16,000 sows


more, including link to the exclusive 2019 Pork Powerhouses ranking