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Belgium: number of pig ops down 8% in last year

The number of pig farms in Belgium has shrunk by approximately 8% over the last year, official preliminary May figures of the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs indicate.

The review contained figures on all areas of agriculture in Belgium. The total number of pig farms came down from 6,553 to 6,031. In Flanders (Dutch-speaking), where the vast majority of pig farms is located, the decrease was 7.8%; in Wallonia (French-speaking) the decrease came down to 9.0%.

Total pig numbers, however, have increased by 0.7% to 6.3 million – in  Flanders this was 0.4%. On the short term, a decrease is expected as the increase was mainly caused by a growing number of finishers. Since the number of breeding animals is going down, a long-term decrease can be expected.

Total agricultural numbers

The total number of agricultural operations went down by 3.9%, according to the survey, with relatively more operations closing down in Flanders (-4.0%) in comparison to Wallonia (-3.7%). Total employment in agriculture has shrunk by 3.4%, agricultural surface decreased by 0.7%.


In the last year, grain surface grew by 10.1%, but is expected to come down again by 4.7%. Results, however, are dependent on the grain varieties. In contrast to wheat, barley will continue to be strong.  

Total poultry population went down by 0.6% in the last 12 months. Total numbers came down from 32.5 million to 32.3 million. The number of layers went up 4.5%  to 12.0 million but the number of broilers came down with this same percentage to 19.2 million. The majority of poultry can be found in Flanders (Dutch-speaking), about 27.1 million animals. About 5.2 million animals are located in French-speaking Wallonia.

Related website:

Ministry of Economic Affairs

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