Farmer Focus: Days drawing out and weather drying up

It’s great to finally see the days drawing out and, more importantly for our outdoor unit, the weather drying up.

What a difference a few dry and windy days can make to the land, and how quickly we can turn things around.

Performance on the outdoor unit looks like its heading in the right direction. The piglets coming off look in much better condition and there are a lot more of them.

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus writers 

We have implemented a number of changes but as always you never quite know what’s made the difference.

But the weather has definitely had an impact on staff moral and performance, so long may it continue.

See also: Wet weather challenge to outdoor pig unit

There is talk that the pig price has reached the bottom. But as I write this, I’ve just seen the SPP has fallen yet again.

I try to stay positive about farming as I think it’s important. However, I find it difficult to understand how farmers can be paid less than their cost of production when we are dealing with live animals.

It’s not as if we can get out of pigs in a week or even a month. We are all locked in for at least nine months, and all efforts are focused on being as efficient as possible and producing as much as we can.

Maybe we should be told the price we are going to receive for the progeny before we serve the sow. We could change from price takers to price makers.

I’ve been interviewed this week about the possibility of the UK leaving the EU. The more I think about what might happen, the more I feel people are now used to having cheap food – and a lot of it.

If only we were paid a fair price, subsidies would not be needed. Not that we get any as pig farmers, but a shake-up of the current EU relationship or a complete change may help us in the long term.

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