UK: Pig farmers want to invest in new buildings but can’t, BPEX survey finds

BPEX survey results show pig farmers want to invest in new buildings, but can't

BPEX survey results show pig farmers want to invest in new buildings, but can't - Credit: Archant

A survey of buildings being used for pig production has shown many are at least 20 years old but producers can’t invest in replacements.

The willingness to invest is there as producers know a better environment leads to production efficiencies, but the climate isn’t right and it is not happening, according to a buildings survey by levy payers’ group BPEX.

The study found that 90% of farms believed their current facilities were not ideal and they wanted to invest in new buildings, but many had not put substantive investment into new facilities in the past 10 years.

The survey is available to download from www.bpex.org.uk/environment-hub/pig-housing-development/default.aspx.

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 labour and the desire to improve animal welfare also featured strongly, the survey found.

BPEX Environment Programme Manager Nigel Penlington said: “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.

“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 labour use.

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“The information gathered is helping BPEX respond to customers’ needs and assist them in taking their businesses forward.”