I have started to realise this EU in or out decision is going to be harder than I first thought.
Traditionally, I’m on the fence regarding politics, but this event has the potential to change the way we farm, live and are looked upon by the rest of the world.
As pig farming receives no subsidies and the market is far from self-sufficient, it could be said change is required.
Some import restrictions on standard imported pigs could improve market share and create a level playing field.
However, with the rest of the agriculture sector closer to market saturation and relying on subsidies, the question must be: “What will the UK government do should the result be to exit?”
See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers
I’m not entirely certain they will maintain current subsidy levels, and, if they do, serious environmental and production limitations will be attached.
My other concern is whether the bureaucracy, restrictive employment laws not designed to suit our market place and excessive use human rights laws will be stopped?
Now that I’ve confused myself again, it’s back to the head scratching.
On the pig front, our performance continues to slowly return to the levels we need to maintain our improvements and reinvest in the business.
The main area of improvement, which had been consistently below par, is weaning weight. That’s up 0.5kg.
There have also been changes to the feeding scale in farrowing, up an average of 1.5kg/day. And there has been more attention to detail with fostering in the first three days, which appears to be working.
Plans for the new service area have been drawn up. With everyone on site having made suggestions and improvements to the base idea, I’ve now got to get the steel work priced and find a gap in production to start work.
With the better weather and maize planting a month away the landlord has emptied the muckpad, which will give us sufficient storage until harvest and allow us to repair some of the metal supports on the sleeper walls that are showing signs of wear.
Tony Bayles runs a herd of 1,000 sows producing 7kg pigs and all his own replacement stock on contract to a large local producer.