Production and Marketing Characteristics of U.S. Pork Producers, 2006
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The U.S. pork production sector has changed dramatically in recent years. Two decades ago it was made up of hundreds of thousands hog enterprises often part of diversified farming operations. Today, ownership of hogs is concentrated in fewer firms which may contract with crop farmers such that production may still occur as part of a crop and livestock farm. Advances in production technology and changes in consumer preferences are credited as the driving forces behind the rapid evolution on the pork industry. Yet, innovative entrepreneurial pork producers are the ones who have made the changes occur. Researchers at the University of Missouri, and more recently Iowa State University, have chronicled pork industry changes for over 30 years. With the help of PORK magazine, the National Pork Board, Pig Improvement Company and the hundreds of producers who responded to the survey, we have taken a snapshot for the year 2006.