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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 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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