A Leader In Raising Hogs
Nationally, Minnesota ranks second in the number of hogs its farmers' raise and second in the value of hogs that Minnesota farmers' sell for processing into meat products. Iowa ranks first and North Carolina, third. (National Pork Board, 2011)
Minnesota pig farmers marketed 14 million hogs in 2011. (National Pork Board, 2011)
Pigs Are An Economic Engine
This previous year's gross income from Minnesota hog production was $2.47 billion. (This is the income received by the farmer to pay expenses.)
The total economic generation from Minnesota's pork production in 2011 was $6.9 billion. (Each $1 in gross income generates $2.80 in economic spinoff)
Why It's A State Made For Pigs
- Abundant corn and soybean production provides grain for high quality swine rations.
- Cropland to utilize the nutrients in swine manure as a soil fertilizer.
- Innovative and experienced pork farmers.
- Internationally recognized network of swine veterinarians and swine researchers.
Valuable As Soil Fertilizer
The nutrients found in swine manure are important to Minnesota crop production. These nutrients add beneficial fertilizers and organic matter to the soils on which farmers grow their crops.
University of Minnesota research demonstrates significant economic and environmental benefits from using swine manure as a fertilizer.
The research finds that the organic compounds in swine manure:
- provide yield advantages for corn when compared to using synthetic, commercial fertilizers
- help build and maintain soil structure, which aids soils' ability to hold water
- improves soil aeration.
reduces soil erosion
Animal Care Is Top Priority
Farmers provide proper care and handling at each stage of the pig's life.
Pigs are fed high quality diets that meet their nutritional needs.
Swine housing promotes pig health and well-being, and provides protection from predators, weather extremes and disease introduction.
Farmers use the expertise of veterinarians when making decisions on administering antibiotics to their pigs.
Antibiotics are used only when it benefits pig health and well-being.
All health care products used on hog farms are Food and Drug Administration approved.
Value-Added To Corn And Soybeans
Corn and soybean acres serve a dual purpose to the success of Minnesota hog production.
First, the crops provide an excellent, locally grown feed for hogs.
In 2011, Minnesota hogs ate 147 million bushels of corn and 53.2 million bushels of soybeans
Secondly, the acres where corn and soybeans grow are replenished with the nutrients that are naturally found in swine manure.
Safe Food For Minnesota Families
Individuals who provide the daily care for pigs demonstrate their commitment to safe, wholesome pork by taking part in the educational program, Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus), and individuals who transport live swine attend Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) training. Individual certification in PQA Plus and TQA are required as a condition of sale by all major packers.
Farmers and their employees attend PQA Plus workshops to learn best practices for managing swine herd health, the proper use of health products and technique to assure swine well-being.
The PQA Plus program offers a process for third-party, on-farm evaluation known as a Site Assessment.
During a Site Assessment, a trained advisor observes and evaluates pig health, barn conditions and recordkeeping procedures. When necessary, the advisor will make recommendations for improvement.
Minnesota pork producers are fortunate to have two major pork processing plants within its borders: Hormel Foods, based in Austin, Minn., and JBS (Swift & Company), with operations in Worthington, Minn. In nearby Sioux Falls, S.D., John Morrell has its largest pork processing plant. Research shows that each job at the farm level in hog production creates two supporting jobs in pork processing.