NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - As at June 2016, the total pig herd in Northern Ireland increased by four per cent on the previous year, to 595.1 thousand head.
This is according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland.
The figure for June is also 12 per cent higher than that reported in December, although much of this is the normal seasonal development between the two surveys.
While most pig categories showed an upward trend, the growth in overall numbers of the pig herd was caused by an increase in the number of pigs for slaughter.
The total female breeding herd recorded an increase of two per cent on the year, to 46.4 thousand head.
Of this, in-pig sows were up two per cent, while in-pig gilts recorded a slightly more modest increase of one per cent. The number of maiden gilts only increased slightly, by one per cent. This would all infer that a gradual increase in the size of the NI pig herd might occur, although movements would probably remain small.
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