You are here

Pork Powerhouses 2019: Expansion Continues

The exclusive ranking of the Top 40 U.S. pig producers shows 69,000 more sows.

[Note: the story and ranking have been updated to reflect the sale of sows in Wyoming from Smithfield Foods to The Maschhoffs on October 15.]

The U.S. pork industry is still expanding, despite tariffs, labor challenges, and global disease risks. The nation’s largest pig producers added 69,000 sows in 2019, according to the annual exclusive Pork Powerhouses Top 40 ranking by Successful Farming magazine.

The total sow count for these largest producers, at 4.29 million, adds up to about two-thirds of the sows in the U.S.

Breaking down the list, about half (19) of the companies added sows, nine decreased numbers, and 12 stayed the same. Of the companies adding sows this year, only a few did it by acquisition – the majority of the growth was new construction.

The largest producer, Smithfield Foods, owned by the Hong Kong-based publicly traded company WH Group, reduced sows this year to 930,000 from 950,000 in 2018. Part of the reduction was the sale of about 13,000 sows in Wyoming to The Maschhoffs in October 2019.

Download the exclusive ranking here:

Stay tuned all month to for exclusive interviews with the Pork Powerhouses, issues and challenges ahead for the largest pig producers, and a look back at how the industry has integrated and consolidated. This is the 25th anniversary of the Pork Powerhouses report, first published in the October 1994 issue of Successful Farming magazine.

Top states where companies are headquartered in 2019:

Iowa: 9

Minnesota: 8

North Carolina: 5

Ohio: 4

Illinois: 3

Other large farms that fell just below the Top 40 ranking in 2019:

Ernest Smith Farms / Garland, NC: 22,000 sows

Heimerl Farms / Johnstown, OH: 21,000 sows (a producer partner in Clemens Foods)

Belstra Milling Co. / DeMotte, IN: 19,000 sows (a producer partner in Clemens Foods)

Dykhuis Farms / Holland, MI: 19,000 sows

New Horizon Farm / Pipestone, MN: 16,500 sows

Hitch Pork Producers / Guymon, OK: 16,000 sows

Betsy Freese can be reached at

Download the exclusive 2019 Pork Powerhouses ranking here:

NOTE: You must register on the site to download the report.

Read more about

Tip of the Day

Agronomy Tip: Strategize Weed Control to Prepare for 2020

Soybeans in a no-till field. Target weeds this fall on corn fields that will be no-till soybean acres next spring.

Talk in Marketing

Most Recent Poll

How is your harvest progress?