July 27, 2022

Report shows the pork industry’s impact on economy

Report shows the pork industry’s impact on economy

By: Sydney Sheffield

A new economic report by The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) highlights how America's swine farmers significantly contribute to the United States' agricultural and overall economy. The report highlights the pork industry value chain contributions and growth over the past five years.

"This report underscores how the pork industry is an important pillar to the U.S. economy and the positive ripple effect it has on many other important sectors in the American supply chain," said Holly Cook, NPPC staff economist. "From farm to fork, the combined economic contribution from hog production and pork processing supports more than 600,000 American jobs and generates $178 billion of direct, indirect and induced sales that equate to $57 billion in value-added GDP."

An estimated 613,823 U.S. jobs are involved in various aspects of the pork value chain, ranging from input suppliers to producers to processors and handlers as well as main street businesses that benefit from purchases by people in these industries. In 2021, more than 66,000 U.S. pork producers marketed 140 million hogs valued at over $28 billion in gross cash receipts. The sales generated from hog marketing and pork processing support a total economic contribution of $35 billion in personal income and $57 billion in value-added.

Hog inventories in the United States have varied cyclically over time but have trended upward from 59.11 million head in 2000 to 74.15 million head in December 2021. This includes 68.02 million market hogs and a breeding inventory of 6.12 million. Approximately 7% of U.S. hogs are on farms with less than 2,000 head in total inventory and 93 percent are on farms with 2,000 or more hogs. Family farms comprise 96% of all U.S. hog farms and 81% of hog inventories. The most recent United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) Census of Agriculture shows that the number of farms raising hogs increased by nearly 3,200 from 2012 to 2017. There are 66,439 U.S. hog farms with an average inventory of 1,089 hogs per farm.

In 2021, an estimated 7.03 billion pounds of U.S. pork was exported with 14.83 pounds consumed domestically. That is almost 25% of all U.S. pork. Pork export values in 2021 totaled $8.1 billion, adding more than $62 per head in value to each hog marketed. The pork industry generates significant economic activity through its purchase of inputs. Feed inputs, like corn and soybean meal, account for an estimated 56% of total U.S. production costs. Other costs include equipment, buildings, land, utilities, trucking, and labor.

“It’s vital to share this economic snapshot as America’s pork producers continue to engage with regulators and policymakers, food companies and others to convey how our, businesses directly and indirectly, impact the larger economy,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC president and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minnesota “As a producer, this analysis makes me proud to see the impact I have being part of the thriving U.S. pork industry.”

Check out the full report here.