The annual survey has been done, and again it is official. Hogs in Iowa outnumber humans at 7:1. But don't sleep too easy little piggies...the humans are gaining.

I don't mean to make it sound like humans are ever going to even remotely draw even to the Iowa hog population, but the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that there are currently 23.6 million hogs in Iowa and 3.2 million people. That is a decrease in the hog population of around 1.3% from last year. However, that number easily puts Iowa as the top hog-producing state in the nation, and it's not even close.

The Gazette reports that after Iowa's 23.6 million hogs, Minnesota comes in second at 8.6 million. North Carolina ranks third with 8.2 million. The quarterly survey found that there are 66,000 pork producer facilities in the U.S. More than 610,000 jobs are supported by the pork industry, and $57 billion of gross domestic product are added to the U.S. economy. You are correct...that is A LOT of bacon.

So who does all this pig counting? The Gazette reports that the National Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed nearly 6300 hog operators during the first half of December. They collected the data through the mail, telephone, and face-to-face interviews. With the farmers, not the hogs. As of December 1st, there were 73.1 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms.

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