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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Hogs on Tennessee farms declined last year to a record low 340,000, a 15 percent drop from the previous year, the University of Tennessee reported Monday.

 Glenn Conatser, a swine specialist for the UT Agricultural Extension Service, said the state’s hog population is the lowest on record.

 “In the past the state’s swine industry was largely based on feeder pigs raised by small producers with old-fashioned methods,” Conatser said.

 Many small producers have been replaced in recent years by moderate to large producers with 100 or more sows, he said. “They have better buildings and equipment and they produce pigs using more up-to-date methods.”

The number of Tennessee hog farms dropped 12 percent last year, from 3,400 in 1996 to 3,000. Only 4 percent of Tennessee farms still raise hogs, Conatser said.

 Contact: Glenn Conatser (423-974-7253)