Small fall in Northern Ireland sow numbers

June pig census figures published by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland indicate a 2% increase in total numbers of pigs to 433,900 head.

The increase was the result of a 2% rise in the number of other pigs – which includes those for fattening and young pigs. However, female breeding herd numbers were down 1% on a year earlier suggesting a slight improvement in productivity.

Worryingly, a 5% reduction in both maiden gilt and in-pig gilt numbers suggests a lack of producer confidence and that a further decline in the breeding herd can be expected.

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