Antelope County Farm Bureau member Darin Zuhlke was born and raised on the farm near Foster, Neb. His dad started out in the hog business in 1972 with 30 sows and has since expanded. Two years ago, the family applied for an EQIP cost-share program from NRCS for manure storage and funding came through right away. The family immediately started building a new hog barn.
The Zuhlkes feel it is very important to be open to the public about their operation. They hosted an open house for the public which included free barbecued pork loin and pulled pork sandwiches. The group of 150 people then toured the new facility, which can house 2,000 animals. It features the latest technology with the new “motel style” facility to create a better environment for the hogs.
Here’s a look at Nebraska’s hog industry by the numbers:
- Nebraska has a breeding herd inventory of 380,000 sows and a “kept for market” inventory of over 2.7-million head.
- There are about 7.5 million pigs marketed annually in Nebraska.
- Each market pig consumes 12.82 bushels of corn and 183 lbs. of soybean meal.
- Nebraska pigs annually utilized about 90-million bushels of corn. With an average value of $6.00 per bushel that equals $540-million worth of corn.
- Nebraska pigs annually utilized about 1.4-billion lbs. of soybean meal. With an average value of .1250 cents per pound that equals over $171-million worth of soybean meal.
This safe, abundant, humanely managed, quality, consistent and value-production miracle is supported by hundreds of hog farmers, millers, truckers, grain farmers, buyers, packer employees and countless others adding even more millions to Nebraska’s economy.