Farmer Focus: China culling hard for African swine fever

I was fortunate enough to go to Twickenham for the England v France game and also to Cardiff for the Wales v England game.

Although England lost the Wales game 21-13, it was my first trip to Cardiff and I was able to see what a great city it is.

Cardiff has loads of good bars and restaurants and the ground is right in the city centre, with plenty of great culture around (so I am told).

It seems like a great place for a romantic weekend away from the farm and even better if it coincides with a game of rugby (I hasten to add that our trip was boys only).

I have somehow got roped into doing two talks on our farm at Otley Pig Discussion Group and also our local pig discussion group south of the Humber.

See also: How supplementary milk can improve piglet and sow production

I am totally out of my comfort zone standing up in front of 40-50 pig farmers and allied trade people talking about how we rear pigs on our farm, but I guess someone has to do it.

These discussion groups are great for farmers on the front line to share their success and failures and learn from each other.

More often than not you find out that your neighbours are experiencing the same problems you are.

African swine fever (ASF) continues to rampage through China. I am told 20% of the Chinese sow herd has been culled. I have seen some horrendous footage on YouTube of how the Chinese have been culling pigs due to ASF.

As China has 50% of the world’s pig population, you’d have thought there is going to be a big shortage soon.

Furthermore, the soya and grains that would have fed these pigs will have to find a home somewhere.

Back on farm, the last batch to farrow averaged 15.4 born alive. We will be weaning these pigs next week.

They are going to average more than 14 weaned/sow which will be the first time we have ever weaned over 14. I would never have thought this was possible even two years ago.