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Feed Crisis Slashing Herd Numbers

by 5m Editor
18 April 2008, at 8:29am

UK - Industry reports say the increasing price of feed is now biting at UK herd numbers. The national pig herd is declining at an alarming rate with cull sow rates up 40 per cent on last year.

According to the Farmers Guardian, about 37,000 sows were slaughtered out in the first three months of the year, and there has also been a significant reduction in the purchase of gilt replacements by farmers.

Barney Kay, NPA general manager, said the UK breeding herd had contracted by a worrying eight per cent in the first three months of this year alone.

Last year the breeding herd stood of 455,000 sows, but this figure now threatens to dip below 400,000 animals. The impact of the current contraction will start impacting on pigmeat supplies by the second half of 2008, with the full effect felt next year, said Mr Kay.

Producer prices have been rising gradually, reaching around 116p/kg last week from 110p/kg at the start of the year. However, this is still way below the average cost of production, which is currently 145p/kg due to soaring feed costs.

View the Farmers Guardian story by clicking here.

5m Editor