Grain Bins


Celebrating National Pork Month

Posted on October 05, 2021
Pork month blog post

As we enter the month of October the days are getting cooler and shorter, and for some that’s a reason to celebrate, especially as harvest is beginning to wrap up. However, there’s another reason to celebrate: October is National Pork Month.

This month was chosen since it is traditionally when hogs were taken to market. Now hog farming is a year-round operation not only in the state but across the country. In fact, pork is the world’s most widely-eaten meat taking 36% of the share, edging out both chicken (33%) and beef (24%).

Check out some facts below about the pork industry in South Dakota and the close relationship that pork and corn have here in the state.

Facts on South Dakota pork

Across the state nearly 600 farm families raise hogs. Here are some facts that you might not know about our home-grown industry:

  • South Dakota ranks 11th in the nation for pork production with 1.5 million hogs across the state.
  • The direct economic impact of the pork industry in the state is $621 million.
  • Nearly 4,400 jobs are created in the state from the pork industry.
  • South Dakota’s hogs consume an average of 178,217 tons of soybean meal and 52 million bushels of corn each year.

Exporting SD corn through pork

Without a doubt, South Dakota’s economy is built on the agriculture industry and exports of our agriculture products are a huge part of that. According to USMEF, U.S. beef and pork exports utilized 27.3 million bushels of South Dakota-grow corn, which equated to $96 million.

This adds value not only to the pork and beef coming from the state but also to crops via feed and DDGS. With information provided by USMEF, assuming an average yield of 162 bushels per acre, U.S. beef and pork exports contributed $66.42 per South Dakota corn acre.

The biggest foreign market for U.S. pork is Asia, with most of our exports making it to China and Hong Kong. Despite the pandemic year, pork exports to the region have climbed nearly 30% from just one year ago, adding $491 million of value to the industry.

A future for pork

Standing behind the livestock industry across the state, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council leverages the power of the one-cent checkoff program in the state to help support the future of livestock development for our South Dakota farm families.

Checkoff dollars are used to help fund the missions of the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation, both of which not only help expand livestock production with the help of our state’s grain farmers, but also help create campaigns that build trust with consumers.

To learn more about the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the missions we support, be sure to check out our website.

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