‘A shortage of pigs is coming quickly’ – BBC highlights impact of soaring costs on farming

An Oxfordshire pig farmer has warned that a shortage of pig coming as the industry contracts rapidly in the face of unsustainable production costs. 

The devastating impact of rising costs of production on farms, including pig businesses, was highlighted on the BBC New at Ten programme yesterday (17 mins 40 secs).  The feature explained how the unprecedented price rises in recent months of fuel, animal feed, fertiliser and energy, in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is putting financial pressure on farmers who cannot pass those costs on to supermarkets and other customers.

I revealed that some cereal grower are switching from growing wheat for bread to wheat for animal feed, as it uses less fertiliser.

The programme also featured Oxfordshire pig farmer Tom Allen, whose pig business is losing £30-£40 on every pig they produce, on the back of a doubling of the cost of animal feed double over the last year. He has reduced his pig herd by a third, and has had to make a number of people redundant.

“The industry as a whole is losing 20 to 25% of producers, mainly independent producers like myself. What this means is there will be a shortage of pig meat coming quite quickly,” he said.

NFU president Minette Batters said agriculture was on an ‘uncertain road’ and food security should be a priority for Government.

You can read more on the BBC HERE

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.