- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of hogs and pigs on Iowa farms has reached a new record high.

As of Dec. 1 Iowa had 22.4 million hogs and pigs, the largest inventory ever reported. That is up 1 percent from the previous quarter and 7 percent higher than the same date a year ago.

Iowa is the nation’s leading hog producer by far. North Carolina had 9.3 million head, Minnesota was at 8.3 million and Illinois had 5.1 million as of Dec. 1.

The national inventory was 71.5 million, 4 percent higher than a year ago.

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