The whole is greater than the sum of the parts - that
expression could be used to describe the latest improvements
seen in the British pig industry.
Figures from the Pig Yearbook, produced by Meat and Livestock
Commission (MLC) economics for the British Pig Executive
(BPEX) shows encouraging improvements in physical performance
of the UK pig herd.
The main factors are an increase in pigs weaned per sow
per year, a fall in grower mortality and slightly lower
When combined with an increase in carcase weight to an
average of 75.1kg, this is delivering an extra 87kg of
pig meat sold per sow per year.
At the same time the growth and efficiency of the grower
herd has improved significantly with growth rising 50g
to 509g/day and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) also improving.
In the finishing herd there are again small improvements.
BPEX Director of Pig Industry Development Mark Wilson
said: "This is a very valuable document for giving
an overview of the British pig industry.
"We know the data is only a subset of the UK industry,
but discussions with producers during Pig Fair clearly
indicated the general improvements to be a national trend.
"The forecast for 2006 from data to the end of April
indicates a continuing rise in performance by a further
pig weaned per sow per year. Overall, this is expected
to deliver 1475 kg of pig meat per sow per year - very
"But of course there is still much work to do, a
series of seminars is being held to combat the effects
of seasonal drops in both breeding and finishing performance
"A second series has been organised to look at energy
efficiency - in some cases energy costs have doubled in
the last year and steps need to be taken."
Details of both sets of workshops can be found on the
BPEX website, www.bpex.org.uk.
Copies of the Pig Yearbook, priced at £18 are available
by contacting Jayne Dines on 01908 844389, email@example.com
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