Pig producers face bigger feed bills

15 September 2000

Pig producers face bigger feed bills

By Simon Wragg

PIG producers face mounting feed bills following fresh swine fever outbreaks which have been confirmed in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Most producers will have to be increase credit terms by at least another month for those in affected areas, warns the National Pig Associations Ian Campbell.

“The problem we have is some farms were coming out of restrictions but new outbreaks mean they cannot move stock for a further 30 days.”

The NPA suggests that about 1000 farms may be affected.

That, combined with an estimated feed bill of 16,500/month for a 400-sow weaner-to-finisher herd, could put extra lending by feed firms into millions of s.

Jim Reed, chief of the agricultural suppliers trade body UKASTAs, has written to agriculture minister Nick Brown with a warning.

Suppliers did not want to add to welfare problems by ending feed deliveries to unsecured borrowers, but would have to protect their financial security, he said.

But some feed suppliers say they will stick by producers.

Chris Peck, managing director of Fishers Group, said there was too much money tied up in the sector but it was essential to work with a long term view.

“All businesses in the sector are prudently making extra provision for bad debt,” he said. But the company expects many debtors to come good eventually.

BOCM Pauls takes a slightly different stance.

Debt provision has not increased, but auditors are working to a strict tolerance based on the overall level of credit, said national credit manager Richard Dean.

“Additional borrowing will be considered where banks are in agreement. If not, we will look at cases but have to consider ourselves as an unsecured creditor.”

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