The U.S. Agriculture Department and China have reached an agreement to import Chinese breeding swine into the United States in an effort to make U.S. swine more prolific.
Under what was termed an historic agreement between the two governments, the United States will import 144 pigs of the Meishan, Ming and Fengjing breeds next March.
The swine will be used in research to cross the Chinese breeds with U.S. breeds to increase litter size while maintaining the quality and lean yield of pork. The Chinese breeds being imported have three to four times more pigs per litter than the average U.S. breed.
Scientists expect to conduct at least five years of research to evaluate the animals and determine if they should be released for use by the U.S. swine industry.