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Belgium: Poultry population down 0.6%

Poultry numbers have slightly come down over the past 12 months in Belgium, official May figures of the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs indicate.

The review http://www.statbel.fgov.be/downloads/cah2009mprov_nl.xls contained figures on all areas of agriculture in Belgium.

Total numbers came down from 32.5 mln to 32.3 mln. The number of layers went up 4.5% to 12.0 mln but the number of broilers came down with this same percentage to 19.2 mln.

The majority of poultry can be found in Flanders (Dutch-speaking), about 27.1 mln animals. About 5.2 mln animals are located in French-speaking Wallonia.

The total number of agricultural operations went down by 3.9%, according to the survey, with relatively more operations closing down in Flanders (-4.0%) in comparison to Wallonia (-3.7%). Total employment in agriculture has shrunk by 3.4%, agricultural surface decreased by 0.7%.

The total number of pig farms came down from 6,553 to 6,031. In Flanders (Dutch-speaking), where the vast majority of pig farms is located, the decrease was 7.8%; in Wallonia (French-speaking) the decrease came down to 9.0%.

Total pig numbers, however, have increased by 0.7% to 6.3 million – in Flanders this was 0.4%. On the short term, a decrease is expected as the increase was mainly caused by agrowing number of finishers. Since the number of breeding animals is going down, a long-term decrease can be expected.

In the past year, grain surface grew by 10.1%, but is expected to come down again by 4.7%. Results, however, are dependent on the grain varieties. In contrast to wheat, barley will continue to be strong. 

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Ministry of Economic Affairs

Natalie Berkhout

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