Many buildings used for UK pig production are at least 20 years old but producers can’t afford to invest in new structures, according to a recent BPEX buildings survey.
The willingness to invest is there as pig producers know a better environment leads to production efficiencies, however, the climate isn’t right.
Some key findings include:
• 90 percent of pig farms sampled stated that their current facilities were not ideal and they wished to invest in new buildings.
• There is a wide range in time since investment was last made in new facilities, but many producers have made no substantive replacement or extension to their housing in the past 10 years.
• Many pig producers still see improvement in physical performance, hence reducing the cost of production, as the main reason for contemplating investment in both facilities and new technology. But better use of labor and the desire to improve animal welfare also featured strongly.
“This is the first comprehensive study of this type for many years and, while some of the findings confirm often-reported views, others provide a more detailed insight into the industry,” says Nigel Penlington, environment program manager at BPEX. “What is clear is that, while the structure of many buildings on pig farms may be old, they have been maintained so that they remain fit for purpose. But they may not be the most efficient in terms of resource and labor use.