Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Larry L. Janssen


In 1979, 3,232,000 hogs were slaughtered in South Dakota. Only seven states in the nation exceeded this total. This places South Dakota in a position of prominence in the national pork industry. There is considerable physical potential for further growth of the South Dakota pork industry. With ample supplies of land, labor, and feed grain available, the number of hogs and pigs in the state could expand. For this expansion in production to occur, state swine growers would have to alter production plans. The decision to increase numbers of hogs and pigs is influenced by many factors at both the individual and industry level. If those limiting factors can be overcome, South Dakota can advance to an even higher ranking in the pork industry. The South Dakota pork industry has changed over time with fewer firms, larger inventories per farm, and more enterprise specialization. In 1969, 42 percent of South Dakota farms and ranches (19,366 of 45,729) sold hogs and pigs. By 1978, only 33 percent of South Dakota’s farms and ranches (12,999 of 39,600) sold hogs and pigs. Despite the 33 percent reduction in number of hog farms, total inventories of hogs and pigs remained nearly constant. Average inventory increased from 90.3 hogs and pigs per farm in 1969 to 142.3 hogs and pigs per farm in 1978. The only Census inventory category showing an increase in number of hog farms and number of hogs and pigs was the inventory category of farms with 500 or more hogs and pigs. The average number of feeder pigs sold per farm has increased from 115 feeder pigs in 1969 to 209 feeder pigs in 1978. Feeder pig cooperatives are gaining in importance in the state. The number of these specialized operations has increased to approximately 12 in recent years. These changes in pork production have led to the need for more diverse methods of marketing and a higher level of managerial ability for the individual producer. South Dakota's role in the pork industry could change. This study was conducted, in part, to provide a means of gauging the direction in which the state pork industry is moving. Swine numbers could expand, but this decision lies with the producers and the production plans they advocate. This study begins the accumulation of information on this currently unaddressed issue.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Marketing -- South Dakota
Pork industry and trade -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University