Farmer Focus: No joy on labour front

The Lakes was certainly a nice holiday, but for some reason we go and feel like we must do as much as possible to make it worth our while and, consequently, I’m not so sure I came back refreshed.

However, it was a welcome break, with no pigs in sight.

Things haven’t really gone to plan. I was hoping to tell you about the first few days with our new fieldsman, but he never started. In fact, he texted me a week before to tell me he was not coming.

Yes, a text. But that’s another story.

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmer Focus farmers

So my hunt continued and hopefully I’m not jinxing it by saying we have someone starting this week. He is not very experienced, but is hopefully a reliable and hardworking lad who will be an asset to an already strong team.

Team meeting

Yesterday we had a good meeting with our vets from Garth, our nutritionist Paul Blanchard and the fieldsmen. This is something we like to do to get an overall review of what’s happening and where we can all work together to achieve better performance.

We work very closely with our team throughout the year, but it’s good to sit down face to face to hear everyone’s opinions.

Suitable diets

Because we change our sire line regularly, to make sure we get maximum performance we need to ensure the diet we feed suit those genetics. 

This is a great advantage of having our own feed mill, because changes we make today can be put in place tomorrow.

We have been using a JSR dam line at the indoor unit since we started in pigs and a Rattlerow dam line on the outdoor unit.

The difference in progeny through changing the sire line is really dramatic, and therefore the feed plays a big role in ensuring we maximise their performance.

We have just put our first finishing pigs into our new building. It has been a big build, with great groundwork completed by George Richardson and the construction by Jet Wash.

We are looking forward to some fast-growing pigs in a state-of-the-art facility.

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. Kate is a 2012 Nuffield scholar.