Everyone involved with the hog industry since the mid-1990s knows of rapid transformation that has occurred. The following illustrations demonstrate the speed at which these transformations have taken place.
Hog Inventory—The most significant change is the emergence of hog production in North Carolina since the mid-1990s and with the exceptions of Iowa and Minnesota, a reduction in hog numbers in the Midwest. Also, note the change in the geographic center of production has shifted slightly to the East, but not as significantly as the increase in hog production in North Carolina would imply. This is due to increases in hog production in the Great Plains.
Hog Operations—The total number of hog operations has steadily declined since 1965, while the geographic center of operations has shifted West. This shift in the geographic center of production is due to the fewer number of large operations in the East, large number of smaller-sized operations in the Midwest, and increases in hog operations in the Great Plains.
Average Farm Size—Average farm size measures the average number of hogs per operation and is not necessarily implied by looking at the Hog Inventory and Hog Operations charts. Notice the steadiness of the chart until the mid 1990s and then the rapid increase in average farm size. This increase corresponds to the rapid consolidations that have occurred since the mid 1990s and the subsequent concentration of hog production by fewer and fewer operations.