Survey: Pig farmers fear farm deaths

Damme (dpa) – Many pig farmers currently see no future for their farms. According to a survey by the interest group of pig farmers in Germany, half of the farms in Germany want to get out in the next ten years. District of Vechta) with. In July and August 1048 sow farmers and fatteners were surveyed. Most of the companies come from Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 160 pig farmers from southern Germany took part in the survey.

Accordingly, 60 percent of the sow farmers and 40 percent of pig fatteners stop within ten years. In around every sixth company surveyed, the exit is already very concrete or is imminent in the next two years, said the ISN. In southern Germany, more than 70 percent of the sow farmers and 55 percent of the pig fatteners want to give up their business in the next ten years.

Lack of perspective

Despite the current difficult economic situation, the low producer prices are not the most frequently mentioned cause of the operational closures. The fact that so many farmers want to give up is a consequence of the lack of perspective and the lack of support on the part of politicians, said ISN chairman Heinrich Dierkes a noticeable structural change in meat production in Germany in the coming year. “All the signs indicate that there will be a significant decline in production in the coming years,” said Efken. Experts are therefore already 2022 expecting a decline of 5 to 8 percent in the production of pork because many companies are giving up. This has an impact on the slaughterhouses: Smaller operations or parts of operations are likely to close. Large companies such as Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Westphalia, on the other hand, are not in danger if, in the future, the farmers, with the production of higher quality products, place more emphasis on animal welfare than is possible in the current factory farming. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the industry will get stuck in the current cost corset and will have to continue to face international competition. “It is really unclear where the direction is going,” said Efken.

For the entire economy, however, the consequences of structural change in agriculture are manageable, said Efken. In an ongoing study, the Thünen Institute is examining the three districts of Emsland, Cloppenburg and Vechta – this region is one of the strongholds of German animal husbandry. Because there are other growth sectors in the region, the labor market could continue to grow even in the event of a significant decline in the number of farms. However, the growth would be lower, said Efken.

The pig farmers in Germany need support and planning security, said the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Agriculture and coordinator of the CDU agriculture ministers of the federal states, Peter Hauk. Pig farming with a transparent and, above all, regional value chain must have a permanent place in Germany in the future. “Above all, we have to accelerate and simplify the approval process, especially when it comes to emissions protection,” said Hauk. The Agriculture Ministers’ Conference meets in Dresden from Wednesday to Friday.

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