U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1 was 67.5 million head, up slightly from September 1, 2011, and up 3 percent from June 1, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest quarterly report.

Breeding inventory, at 5.79 million head, was down slightly from 2011 and down 1 percent from the March–May quarter. Market hog inventory, at 61.7 million head, was up slightly from 2011 numbers and up 3 percent from last quarter.

The June–August pig crop, at 29.3 million head, was down slightly from 2011. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.89 million head, down 1 percent from 2011. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record-high 10.13 for the June–August period, compared to 10.03 in 2011. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.6 for operations with 1–99 hogs and pigs to 10.2 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs, according to the USDA.

U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.85 million sows farrow during the September–November quarter, down 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2011 and down 1 percent from 2010. Intended farrowings for December–February 2013, at 2.82 million sows, are down 1 percent from 2012 and down 1 percent from 2011.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 47 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, up from 46 percent in 2011.