Increases to the Northern Irish pig herd in 2015
As at the 1 December 2015, the total pig herd in Northern Ireland increased by 7% on the previous year, to 533,400 head, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland.
Nevertheless, despite an increase year on year, December’s figure is 6% lower than that reported in June, although this is the normal pattern for these two surveys.
The total female breeding herd recorded an increase of 6% on the year 43,400 head. Furthermore, the other pig category, which includes piglets, weaners, finishers and cull sows, increased by 8% on the year to 484,200 head. Despite an overall increase to the breeding herd in December, the number of maiden gilts recorded actually decreased by 10% on the year to 5,200 head. This could suggest that the NI pig herd might start to contract but these figures can be unreliable, so it is probably too early to tell for certain.
Results of the English December Survey are due to be published by Defra later this week and full UK results towards the end of the month.
Millie Askew, Analyst
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