Reduction in number of UK pig farms
Defra have recently released figures showing the a 1% fall in the number of UK pig holdings between June 2012 and June 2013, to 11,000. Another new dataset confirms that over half of English pigs are located in Yorkshire and East Anglia.
Defra have recently released figures from the 2013 June Agricultural Survey showing the number of UK commercial agricultural holdings with pigs. These reveal that there was a 1% fall in the number of pig holdings between June 2012 and June 2013, to 11,000. However, within this total, there was an increase in the number of holdings with 1,000 or more pigs, which numbered 1,420, 5% up on a year before. Between them, these farms accounted for 85% of the UK herd. There was also a drop in the number of farms with breeding pigs, which fell by 2% to just under 6,000. Again, the vast majority of the herd was located on a small proportion of this total, with 810 farms with 100 or more sows accounting for 88% of the national breeding herd. The number of holdings with feeding pigs was almost unchanged at 9,200, with around 4,200 of these also having breeding pigs.
Another new dataset shows the number of pigs in each English county in June 2013. This confirms that over half of English pigs are located in Yorkshire and East Anglia. North Yorkshire had more pigs than any other county, 679,000, followed by Norfolk, East Yorkshire and Suffolk, all of which had over 400,000. No other county had more than 170,000 head, emphasising how concentrated the industry is. Norfolk had the highest number of breeding pigs, 73,000, just ahead of North Yorkshire.