GB herd productivity picks up in Q1

The performance of the GB breeding herds improved during the first three months of this year.

For indoor sows, an increase in numbers born alive to just over 14/litter resulted in the number of pigs weaned/sow/year increasing slightly to 27.7 in the 12 months ended March 31, compared with the year ending December 2020. The top 10% achieved more than 33 pigs weaned/sow/year.

For outdoor sows, an increase in litters per sow per year during the first quarter offset an increase in pre-weaning mortality, resulting in an largely unchanged average of 24.5 pigs weaned/sow/year, with the top 10% averaging over 28.


“Increasing herd performance suggests the availability of finished pigs in the coming weeks is likely to remain above 2020 levels,” AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins said.

“However, mortality at later stages of production, and national sow numbers, are also key. This will be explored further in the next outlook report, which will be released at the end of July.”

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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.