The agricultural livestock industry has 94,000 businesses, and 315,300 employees. Think dairy cows producing milk, cattle bred for beef, sheep for wool and lamb, pigs and poultry for meat, as well as taking care of the environment and growing crops for livestock feed.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture Livestock

Agriculture farms can be split by different types of livestock.

Different Types

Agricultural livestock farms can be split by types of livestock:

  • Dairy (dairy cows produce milk, also used in processing e.g. cheese)
  • Beef (cattle for meat)
  • Sheep (for lamb, wool and milk)
  • Pigs (for pork e.g. bacon)
  • Poultry (to produce eggs and chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for meat)
  • Other livestock such as deer, camelids, buffalo, ostrich
  • Related agricultural contracting

Livestock farms need a range of businesses to support them such as:

  • Livestock services such as foot trimmers, sheep shearers and artificial inseminators
  • Livestock feed companies that ensure livestock receive correct nutrients and energy
  • Livestock breeding companies to breed the healthiest and best performing livestock
  • Livestock consultancy services to help increase profitability of livestock enterprises
  • Farm animal vets

Did you know?

  • Half the entire UK is covered by grass and grazing land. This is mainly permanent grassland which shows the importance of grazing livestock (mainly cattle and sheep) to English agriculture.
  • There are over 40 different breeds of sheep in the UK following hundreds of years of selection. Breeds are often adapted to very specific environments and remain local to them.
  • In 2008, 11,376 million eggs were consumed in the UK. Around 75% of all eggs produced are sold retail as shell eggs with the remainder split between processing and manufacturing and wholesale and catering. FBS
  • In 2008/09, UK national milk production was at its lowest level since the early 1970s. There has been no significant increase in average milk yield since 2005/06. This was combined with incomes from dairy farming reaching high levels, not witnessed in recent times. FBS
  • The pig and poultry industries receive no direct producer support payments under the Common Agricultural Policy.
  • The UK livestock sector has been working in a number of ways to reduce methane emissions, resulting in a 17% fall since 1990. In large part, this has been due to improvements in meat and milk production, NFU

The facts

  • 41% of people working in agriculture are 50 years or older
  • 81% of workers in agriculture are male.
  • 56% of the workforce is self-employed (the national average 13%)

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