The U.S. hog herd remains relatively stable, according to a University of Missouri livestock economist. As 2023 inches closer, numbers aren’t expanding and more sideways movement is expected. Sows farrowed between June and November this year are likely going to be down 2%.

While contraction has slowed, future expansion will likely hinge on the overall U.S. economy, with feed costs closely behind. As feed costs remain high and labor availability is limited, hog producers remain wary of expanding herds at home. Coupled with the continued sky-high cost of supplies needed to expand, economists say sideways movement will continue.

Read more on U.S. hog herd number predictions here.