Improved productivity, combined with increased imports from Ireland, are the key factors behind a 9% expansion of Northern Ireland’s total pig numbers since June 2013 according to BPEX.
Quoting the latest figures published by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland, BPEX said that, at 525,600 head in total in June 2014, the 9% increase was a “direct result of more fattening pigs due to improved productivity combined with increased imports from neighbouring Ireland”.
There was also a 10% year-on-year increase in the other pigs’ category which includes piglets, weaners, and finishers and stood at 476,000 in June 2014.
At 43,900 head, the total female breeding herd, meanwhile, has expanded by 3%, compared with June 2013.
“The slower expansion in the breeding herd relative to the total pig numbers confirms that there has been some improvement in productivity,” said BPEX.
“However, while the latest figures suggest a notable expansion in the herd, gilts not yet in pig recorded a 1% decline compared with the same period a year earlier, which could limit growth going forward.”