Skittles seems to be a popular game played by fellow farmer focus writers and indeed pig farmers, as the other night there were three pig farmers in the two skittles teams. In a pig-scarce county like Devon we had more farmers together than some meetings I have been to.
We have put a “Made in Britain, Perfect British Bacon” banner up on the main road near our farm, as a contribution to the excellent campaign run by the National Pig Association. The NPA are also organising a rally to Downing Street on 3 March. Anyone wishing to sign and support the petition should go to www.pigsareworthit.com. This will be presented to the government at the end of the rally.
Back at the farm, sows moved into their new dry sow accommodation this month, and we have improved the heat retention in our first stage weaners with canvas lids. We have begun refurbishing second stage weaner accommodation, so last year’s plans are coming together.
I am trying to save feed on-farm by implementing the above measures and campaigning for better trading conditions. Back in the late 1990s when we had the pig price crash I used to dread opening the bank statements, now I dread opening the feed account statements.
This year, I have been unsuccessful at getting a pitch with my catering trailer at the Royal Cornwall Show, which is somewhat annoying. Every year you have to tender for your pitch and I put in the same amount as last year. However, any increases in costs I have to endure on the pig feed, would not be compensated by an increase in menu prices, as the society does not allow you to charge what you like and you have to keep to their set prices. You would think an agricultural show organisation would understand this – alas not.