Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, estimates that new regulations on sow housing will cost Irish pig farmers at least €300,000 to meet compliance, the Irish Independent reports.
The new regulations demand individual sow crates for loose housing, and Teagasc porcine expert Ciaran Caroll has calculated that the average Irish pig farmer with a 550 sow herd would have to spend €300,000 to convert current housing to meet the new sow housing standards. But that’s only if the farmers reduce herd size at the same time.
If those farmers with 550 sow herds want to keep the same number of sows in future, then they will have to invest around €350,000-400,000 in converting their sheds and buildings to meet regulations.
The TAMS (Targeted Agriculturtal Modernisation Scheme) provides a grant of up to 40%, but even with this support, many farmers will struggle to obtain bank loans for the remainder of the conversion costs.
Irish pig farmers a currently selling at a loss of €0.09 per kilogram, with average prices currently €1.58 per kg.
Source: the Irish Independent