New report confirms U.S. pork producers are getting more efficient

The 2019 dataset represents 1.5 million sows across 600 farms, as well as 15.6 million nursery pigs, 17.4 million finish pigs and 8 million wean-to-finish pigs.


Source: National Pork Board

via National Hog Farmer - Sep 15, 2020


As America’s pig farmers continue to fight back from the negative impact of COVID-19 and the ups and downs of markets and bad weather, a new study released by the National Pork Board, Production Analysis Summary for U.S. Pork Industry: 2017-2019, shows that America's pig farmers continue to make strides in overall sustainability by being more efficient every day.


The 15-page report, prepared by Minnesota-based MetaFarms and its subsidiary Swine Management Services, looked at sow, nursery, finish and wean-to-finish data over a three-year period. The results reconfirmed long-term trends of increasing efficiency, which has the additional benefit of reducing production costs — an especially welcome conclusion in 2020.


"One of the greatest benefits of this Pork Checkoff-funded study is the benchmarking ability it offers producers who always want to improve their efficiencies," says Chris Hostetler, animal science director for the Pork Board. "It's also a great way to show today's consumers that America's pig farms are becoming more efficient all the time and that pork is a sustainable choice when it comes to choosing a protein." 


Brad Eckberg of MetaFarms and Ron Ketchem of SMS, helped analyze much of the data in the study.


"The ability to benchmark allows producers to compare their production numbers to other farms and systems, regardless of what record program they are using, what genetics they have or their farm size," says Ketchem, a longtime industry number cruncher. He continues to be surprised by the increasing range of production numbers between farms year after year.


"Every year, more variation occurs with new highs and lows being set," he says. "This shows the impact in genetics and the ability of producers to manage their farms daily."


When producers are looking at benchmarking and at ways to improve, Ketchem offers these rules of thumb:


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