Companies in this industry raise hogs and pigs. No major companies dominate the industry.
China accounts for about 60% of the world's swine population and produces about half of the world's pork. The EU and the US are the next largest producers of pork.
The US hog and pig farming industry includes some 65,000 farms -- about 22,000 of which generate the majority of their income from hogs and pigs -- with combined annual revenue of about $24 billion.
Hog farming involves six stages: breeding; gestation; birthing (known in the industry as farrowing); weaning; nursery; and grow finishing, where the hog reaches its ideal weight. Some large companies are vertically integrated and have farming, slaughter, and processing operations. This profile doesn't cover slaughter or processing. Processing of pork for consumption is covered in the Meat Products Manufacturing industry profile.
Demand is driven primarily by domestic and international trends in pork consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and reducing the spread of disease. Large companies have advantages in vertically integrating operations from birthing to packaging and distribution. Small operations, typically family-owned farms, can compete by specializing in a single stage of hog farming or by raising animals that are humanely treated, antibiotic-free, or otherwise tailored to buyers' specifications. The US industry is concentrated: about 20% of farms account for about 95% of sales....