Hog Production: Minnesota Nearing Move Into Second Place

In a front page article in the Business section of Tuesday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, Adam Belz reported that, “Minnesota is closing in on North Carolina to be the second-largest hog-producing state in the nation.

“Minnesota closing in on No. 2 spot for hog production,” by Adam Belz. The Minneapolis Star Tribune (December 25, 2018).

“According to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota’s pig population on Dec. 1 was 8.9 million, or 400,000 more than a year earlier. The state is now producing only 200,000 fewer hogs than North Carolina.

Iowa is by far the largest hog state, with 23.3 million pigs.”

The article noted that, “In 2017, North Carolina was 500,000 hogs ahead of Minnesota in December. But North Carolina added only 100,000 hogs this year while Minnesota added 400,000.

“Minnesota has already surpassed North Carolina when it comes to the number of pigs it finishes for market, but North Carolina still raises large numbers of baby pigs that are shipped to farms in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, where they are fed to market size and shipped to the slaughterhouse, said Dave Preisler, executive director of Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

“Despite its remoteness from the Corn Belt, North Carolina became a major hog-producing state in the late 1980s and 1990s after the U.S. government stopped subsidizing tobacco farms.”

Mr. Belz added that, “Compared to other states, Minnesota’s hog industry has room to grow. In a statement, Christensen Farms said that Minnesota has more than double the number of crop acres per pig marketed than Iowa, and 4.4 times as many as North Carolina.”

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