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.