The United States is one of the world’s leading pork-producing and exporting countries, accounting for about 10% of the world’s supply. U.S. swine are unique in their ability to perform consistently under a variety of weather conditions and management styles. This consistent performance is the result of years of painstaking work by geneticists, breeders, and commercial producers who were committed to true genetic progress.
- Approximately 80% of U.S. hogs are grown on farms that produce 5,000 or more hogs per year
- Precision equipment, coupled with genetic rating systems, allows breeders to accelerate genetic progress by assigning numerical values called Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) to economically evaluate important genetic traits
- Many breeders use techniques like artificial insemination, segregated early weaning, all-in/all-out pig flow, separate-sex feeding, and multisite production — protocols that enhance genetic progress
- As a consequence of superior herd health, many purebred breeders use little, if any, antibiotics in their herds; when you invest in U.S. genetics, you’re ensuring top-rate health status for your operation
Each Breed Offers Unique Characteristics
Four breeds — Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, and Yorkshire — form the backbone of the U.S. swine industry. They possess the most desirable carcass and production traits sought by breeders and producers the world over. The four breed organizations are located in the central office of the National Swine Registry, where services such as registration, performance pedigrees, and national sire summaries are performed. An estimated 80% of all U.S. commercial pork producers use at least 1 of these 4 breeds, and 65% use 2 or more.
Durocs are red pigs with drooping ears; they can range from light gold to mahogany in color. Durocs sire market pigs that excel in durability, growth, and muscle qualities attributes and are competitive with other industry sires for carcass leanness and feed efficiency.
Hampshire hogs are black with a white belt across the shoulders that covers the front legs around the body. They have erect ears. The Hampshire is a heavily muscled, lean meat breed with an unequalled ability to sire winning carcasses.
Landrace are white with drooping ears that slant forward with top edges nearly parallel to the bridge of a straight nose. They are noted for their ability to farrow and raise large litters. Landrace excel in litter size, birth and weaning weight, rebreeding interval, durability, and longevity.
Yorkshires are white and have erect ears. They are very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low backfat, in addition to being very sound and durable. Yorkshires excel in litter size, birth and weaning weights, rebreeding interval, durability, and longevity.