U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1 was 64.9 million head, up 2 percent from March 1, 2011, but down 2 percent from December 1, 2011, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

Breeding inventory, at 5.82 million head, was up 1 percent from the same time in 2011 and up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 59.1 million head, was up 2 percent from the same time in 2011, but down 2 percent from October through December of 2011.

The December 2011–February 2012 pig crop, at 28.7 million head, was up 3 percent from 2011. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.88 million head, up 1 percent from 2011. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 9.97 for the December 2011–February 2012 period, compared to 9.8 the previous year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.3 for operations with 1–99 hogs and pigs to 10 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.