FARMER FOCUS: Why don’t pigs grow at a steady rate?

The DAPP pig price had been rising nicely, but has levelled out in the past few weeks. The fact that Tulip, now Scotland’s biggest pig slaughterer, has twice reduced its price lately when the open market price was rising seems unbelievable.

As supply gets tight there will be more buyers wanting to procure pigs, giving the producer a better chance of a fair price.

As I write this article, our marketing group’s weekly update has arrived on my desk telling us that Tulip has “miraculously” put 5p on to their price, taking it back to what most others have been paying.

 It may not be a lot until you work it out to be £850 on a load of bacon pigs. Every penny counts.

Now I have got that off my chest, on a less serious note I have been reading the harvest reports in Farmers Weekly for quite a few weeks now and been hearing how the combining has been going in Morayshire and around the north-east coast, but alas I haven’t had to call my contractor yet. This year is no different from any other year. We will always be later getting started because of our altitude and the amount of pigs’ slurry going on to the crops. Next year will be different as I am sowing winter barley again this season, which I haven’t done for a number of years. By the time you read this, weather permitting, we should be well into harvest as most is sprayed off now and looking well. I do like spraying, as no matter how much you walk your fields, you see the crop best from the sprayer.

In my last article I spoke of how the pigs were growing better and as soon as it went to print they took a dip for three weeks, but have again come back to the much improved growth I saw last month. Why don’t they grow the same every week? Then I wouldn’t have to work out whether it is the weather, the cereal, the magic powder or something else. Answers on a postcard please.

Danny Skinner farms 440 sows selling finished pigs through Scottish Pig Producers. He runs 125ha at home and rents a further 50ha, growing cereals for home mixing

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