Iowa Hoop Structures Used for Swine: A Survey
By surveying 13 area extension livestock specialists in Iowa, it was estimated that there are 2,100 hoop structures used for swine production in Iowa. Approximately 90% of the hoops are used for feeding market pigs and the remaining 10% are used for housing gestating sows. It was estimated there were 768 producers in Iowa with hoops for swine. Approximately 50% of the producers are estimated to use composting of manure and approximately 40% composted swine mortalities. Also, approximately 40% of the producers with hoops were involved with contract feeding of pigs in hoops. This number of hoops would be capable of producing 1 million market pigs annually. The rapid adoption of hoops by Iowa farmers is attributed to the low costs and versatility of hoop structures. Many niche markets are emerging for which hoop-reared pigs would qualify.