FURTHER evidence of the expanding UK pig herd came recently with MAFF publishing its April survey. It showed the number of sows and gilts in pig to be 5.8% higher than 12 months earlier. In the case of maiden gilts, the rise was 3.7%, contributing to a 5.4% growth in total pig numbers. Finished prices, meanwhile, continue to ease, with Monday markets returning a liveweight average 78.81p/kg.
AVERAGE price was £392 at the Sheep Improvement Groups fixed-price sale of rams last week. The event at Sampford Peverell, Devon, saw 64 of the 100 head on offer change hands. At £500 the highest-index ram – a Charollais from Colin Jones – was snapped up by Victor Pitts. Averages included £434, £407 and £375 for Charollais, Texels and Suffolks, respectively.
BY JUNE 20, the number of calves slaughtered in the UK under the processing aid scheme this year was 231,068, of which dairy calves accounted for 85%. Over the same period, nearly 379,000 cattle had been killed under the over-30-month scheme, with 7834 accounted for by the selective slaughter scheme.
BIDDING rose to £1050 when Somerset farmers Les and Ben Bartlett dispersed their dairy stock at Taunton market last week. This was paid by Bridgwater-based Robert Rowe for a Hanoverhill Skybuck daughter on her first lactation.