An economic study of the hog enterprise in Humboldt County

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Hopkins, John
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
It can be very challenging to locate information about individual ISU Extension publications via the library website. Quick Search will list the name of the series, but it will not list individual publications within each series. The Parks Library Reference Collection has a List of Current Series, Serial Publications (Series Publications of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service), published as of March 2004. It lists each publication from 1888-2004 (by title and publication number - and in some cases it will show an author name).
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Records on the farm business obtained from 233 herds of hogs in Humboldt County during the period from 1922 to 1925 showed that the hogs on these farms provided a means of marketing about half the corn raised and provided between 35 and 40 percent of the total farm income.

On the medium sized farms in this county between 15 and 20 brood sows were kept per farm. The number seldom ran over 20, because on a one-family farm it was limited to the number one man could look after at farrowing time.

One hundred fifty-nine detailed records were obtained on the hog enterprise. These showed a wide range each year in costs and profits.

The hog producer’s problem is to obtain the largest net return from his resources. This involves caring for his breeding herd so as to obtain thrifty pigs at the lowest cost per pig at weaning and, second, obtaining the most economical gains on the fattening pigs.

The high costs of pigs weaned were usually associated with inadequate rations, poor care of the breeding herd and preventable losses after farrowing. It was found that where litters farrowed one additional strong pig, the number weaned was increased by six-tenths pig per litter on an average, while more than the average number of weak pigs farrowed meant smaller than average litters weaned.