Scottish pig numbers rise

According to the latest figures published by the Scottish Government, the pig population in June totalled 337,000 head -  6% higher compared with the same time last year.

According to AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins, this was largely the result of a 7% increase in the number of pigs for fattening, which compensated for the decline of the total breeding herd by 1% to 35,900 head.

“f both of these statistics are accurate, this suggests a large increase in herd performance,” Ms Wilkins said.

Sows in-pig fell by 1% and other sows were also down by 5%. Pregnant gilt numbers increased by 5% but there was an 11% decline in maiden gilts.

Ms Wilkins added: “While it is difficult to draw too many conclusions from the census data, producer confidence has certainly been tested since the survey was undertaken with both the pig and feed markets looking more challenging.

“Anecdotally, we have heard reports of expansion underway in recent years, particularly in the outdoor sector. The past year has been profitable for pig production due to the global pork shortage triggered by China’s ASF outbreak, though the situation is now becoming more challenging.”


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