Farmer Kate Morgan in a shed with her pigs© Jim Varney

Well I think I jinxed our harvest in my last article, as we are still a way off finishing.

I have to say, it’s been a testing harvest. Not only has the weather been causing problems, but things are not quite going to plan.

We have gotten to know the local mechanics well, and also the fire brigade.

Thankfully, no one has been hurt.

We will continue and fingers crossed next time I write hopefully all straw will be baled and under cover.

Back on the pigs, things seem to be going well with growth.

This weather seems to be suiting them.

We continue to hose them down, but the sheds feel much more pleasant than they did earlier in the summer.

Our performance on the finishing side seems to be improving, which shocks me as during hotter weather pigs don’t eat as much.

You would expect their feed conversion ratio and daily liveweight gain to be affected but I am seeing the opposite.

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Obviously, they are not using any energy keeping warm, as all our pigs are housed on straw, and perhaps they just don’t run about as much as they do in the colder months.

I have been to see how they rear pigs in France and they actually restrict their finishers, whereas we feed them ad-lib.

It does make me think that maybe the pigs get to a point where they can’t convert the extra grams or kilos.

Although the nutritionist assures me this does not happen, I will keep looking into this.

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The more you get out and see other methods, the more information you can gather and hopefully improve productivity.

Pig prices continue to rise but feed is also increasing.

If only we had a crystal ball we could have covered a lot more wheat, barley and soya than we did.

But as long as they both go in the same direction I think we have little to complain about.

If all sectors can make a bit of money, then we have a happy industry that can hopefully put some time and effort into promoting itself rather than having to concentrate solely on surviving.


Kate Morgan and family farm 1,700 sows indoors in East Yorkshire and 1,200 outdoor in North Yorkshire, taking all the progeny through to slaughter