U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska




Document Type


Date of this Version



The Author(s) 2019


Scientific Reports | (2019) 9:3915 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40556-z


Domestic swine production in the United States is a critical economic and food security industry, yet there is currently no large-scale quantitative assessment of swine shipments available to support risk assessments. In this study, we provide a national-level characterization of the swine industry by quantifying the demographic (i.e. age, sex) patterns, spatio-temporal patterns, and the production diversity within swine shipments. We characterize annual networks of swine shipments using a 30% stratified sample of Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI), which are required for the interstate movement of agricultural animals. We used ICVIs in 2010 and 2011 from eight states that represent 36% of swine operations and 63% of the U.S. swine industry. Our analyses reflect an integrated and spatially structured industry with high levels of spatial heterogeneity. Most shipments carried young swine for feeding or breeding purposes and carried a median of 330 head (range: 1–6,500). Geographically, most shipments went to and were shipped from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. This work, therefore, suggests that although the swine industry is variable in terms of its size and type of swine, counties in states historically known for breeding and feeding operations are consistently more central to the shipment network.