Latest figures from USDA’s hogs and pigs inventory show that the country’s pig herd on 1 March was 7% larger than a year earlier, at 65.9 million head.
A year before, the PEDv outbreak was close to its peak and had led to high levels of piglet mortality and, hence, a dramatic reduction in pigs being kept for slaughter. The extent of the recovery is emphasised by the fact that the 2015 figure is higher than that for 1 March 2013, before the PEDv outbreak began. This reflects a larger sow herd, with breeding pig numbers up 2% in the year to March, at just under 6 million head. In addition, productivity had improved and the litter size in the latest quarter was the largest on record for the time of year, although still somewhat behind the long-term trend.
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