By Bailey Seitter
Throughout the past 40 years, the number of hog farms in North Carolina decreased significantly, while the number of hogs increased almost tenfold. In the early 1990s, the industry boomed as farms became industrialized. In 1997, the N.C. Legislature placed a temporary moratorium on the building or expansion of any hog operation with more than 250 animals. Subsequent bills made the moratorium permanent, but exempted farms that do not use the lagoon-and-spray method of waste disposal. Virtually all N.C. hog farms use this method to manage their waste.
Editor's note: In 1982, the USDA Census of Agriculture began conducting surveys every five years rather than every four.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Drag the slider to see how the N.C. hog industry has changed since 1974.