A new study has found significant links between temperature levels and pig productivity, according to the National Pig Association.

Research has confirmed that hot weather generally spells bad news for European pig producers.

European temperature levels normally peak in late June and fall thereafter as the autumn approaches.

This year July and August temperature levels in the UK were lower than average and this has led to better growth rates on finishing units.

Whilst UK temperatures have followed this pattern, Germany had a far warmer September which could see their productivity decrease once again.

Cooler nights encourage better appetite levels amongst ad-lib pigs, which explains recent rises in slaughter numbers in many EU countries.

Temperature levels inside pig buildings will also vary according to the efficiency of insulation and ventilation systems.

Respiratory diseases amongst pigs can be kicked off by wide temperature variations leading to higher mortality and depressed growth rates.

Outdoor producers in the UK have for many years struggled with conception rates and reproductive levels during periods of extremely hot and cold weather.

Well insulated and ventilated indoor and outdoor pig housing can pay dividends on breeding and finishing units alike.

A regular programme of fan ventilation efficiency tests on indoor units should help to improve breeding and finishing production levels.