Hog industry and slurry. Challenge and opportunity

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Hog industry, impressive figures

In January 2020 there were about 677.6 million pigs in the world.  China leads the way with 310.4 million animals, the European Union 148 million and the United States come  in third place with 78 million. In 2019 there were 13.75 million hogs in Canada.

In most producing countries, the trend is towards a gradual reduction in the number of hog farms in favour of large barns.

Let’s take Spain, for example.

According to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPAMA), in 2017 the total number of hog farms was 86,641, of which 14,213 were extensive; 68,980 intensive; and the rest were mixed. These data show a 13% drop in the total number of pig farms over the period 2007-2016 (99,561 farms in 2007 against 86,641 in 2016).

What about manure?

These large farms located in specific regions generate large quantities of manure.

It is estimated that an average of 500 pigs in the finishing stage generate about 85 m3 of manure per quarter, which gives us an annual average per animal of 0.68 m3 of manure.

It is not clear  to know  accurately how much manure is produced annually in the world. Indeed, the characterization of manure varies according to various factors such as the maturity of the animal, its feed, the type of breeding, the water consumption or the accumulation of rainfall in manure pits, etc.

In addition, the annual amount of manure varies according to fluctuations in the hog market and the number of animals raised and slaughtered each year.

For example, according to some sources, more than 60 million tons of manure are generated each year in the United States, and the pig manure produced in France in one year is estimated at about 20 million tons.

Given that we are witnessing a trend towards production concentrated on increasingly large sites and in very localized regions (Aragon and Catalonia in Spain, Brittany in France, Chaudières-Appalaches in Quebec, Iowa in the USA, etc.), the problems of conventional manure management are growing and the need for efficient treatment solutions is increasing.<

The elements of  the equation to solve

Ideally, the solution that will provide an effective response to the expectations of the pork industry will combine the following advantages.

– A solution that combines economic advantages with environmental benefits

– A solution that allows the creation of a circular economy

– A solution that boosts the pork industry

– A solution that promotes socio-acceptability

– A solution in line with government expectations (GHG reduction, use of clean technologies, generate wealth, soil and water conservation)

This solution exists, its name is Solugen. We will soon come back in details on its economic benefits.

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