A further increase in pig price is needed as the cost of feed continues to rise, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

IFA National Pigs Committee chair Roy Gallie is calling on processors to deliver price increases back to farmers.

This follows last week’s increase, which Gallie said was urgently needed given the massive cost increases on farms.

The IFA chair said that producers acknowledged the price rise of 20c/kg for this week’s pigs.

“However, feed cost rose on average €45/t, which wiped out last Friday’s price increase. Ireland’s price is still 10% below the EU average and 28% below breakeven.

“We are calling on the processors for another 20c/kg rise in the pig price for next week to help farmers pay for feed, and to bring us into line with other EU countries,” Gallie concluded.

Teagasc has outlined that between 20-30% of pig units are at risk of closure due to financial losses in the sector; the average producer is currently losing €56,000/month.

Teagasc said that feed costs had increased by a third between January 2021 and March 2022. The situation has been exasperated by low prices and energy costs, which have risen by up to 100%.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) are currently assessing a proposal for a €100 million support package for the sector.

The proposal – which is jointly compiled by IFA, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) – was submitted to the department last month.

Pig health

Meanwhile, the Irish Pig Health Society (IPHS) has announced the return of its annual symposium and trade show later this month.

The 2022 instalment will take place – in person, due to relaxed Covid-19 restrictions – on April 26, at the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise.

Entitled, ‘Saving the bacon: Practical considerations to survive the current pig crisis’, it will feature Irish and international experts who will present practical solutions to current challenges of health, welfare, and productivity in the sector.