FARMER FOCUS-CRIS FOGDEN
WE ALL need a bit of a motivation top up from time to time and my chance came when a group of pig producers took a day trip to the Netherlands. We went to look at a current hot topic in our industry, the Tempo boar from Dutch genetics firm Topigs.
Some interesting papers in the morning at a research farm were followed by a visit to an enterprising family business that has made its fortune being paid to take away a waste product, carrying out a simple process, then selling it. Surely there is something for us all to learn from that.
The firm also had many pigs, including the Netherlands” only outdoor organic herd. With an enviable cost of production, its only problem seemed to be its tax bill.
Of the Tempo boar and its progeny, the reason for the trip, I saw nothing, although some of the group claimed to. Some semen is coming into the UK and some boars have been imported from France. It will be interesting to see whether European results are replicated in the UK.
However, I am unable to try the Tempo boar as the finished pig contract I am on specifies the boar type to use. This is no handicap, looking at performance to date; the first progeny of this type are growing like mushrooms and look superb.
Only the final test remains, to see how they grade and whether we have to alter nutrition to compensate. Encouragingly, finishing farm mortality, in most cases, is running at below 4%, with little or no medication in feed.
I recently received a thorough questioning as to why I am not doing any significant niche, direct or added value marketing. My excuse – that any money made in such a venture could easily be lost by taking my eye off the ball on the production side – failed to convince my questioners or even me.
So the idea must merit further investigation. I need to look at reasons to do it rather than reasons not to. And nothing motivates me more than investigating new business opportunities, even when they don”t get further than my fevered imagination.