Farmer Focus: One of best aspects of farming is sharing ideas

I’m getting quite used to people giving me a strange look when I say my preferred start time for moving our outdoor pig units is mid-January, with a target for completion in the last week of March.

But this year, just like the last, my strategy has proved to be successful.

My thinking is that by the time we are into the new year it’s only a short while until temperatures start to rise, and the grass we drilled in August starts to wake up and grow again.

Most of our winter rainfall will have fallen and, by virtue of global warming, the occurrence of deep ground frosts is now virtually non-existent.

See also: Why strategic recovery is needed for pig industry survival

About the author

Rob McGregor
LSB Pigs runs 1,550 sows in two outdoor herds to produce weaners under a contract agreement. Rob manages the operation which fits into a barley and sugar beet rotation on rented land near Fakenham, Norfolk.
Read more articles by Rob McGregor

For the fourth year in a row our emergency water bowser has spent the winter in a corner of the yard gathering dust on account of water pipes not freezing up.

Getting the pigs on the grass leys early helps strong plant development, thanks to their instinctive grazing habit. This improves the ley in a much better way than us charging around with a topper in May and June.

Sharing ideas with other farmers and organisations is one aspect of my job I really enjoy.

With things now getting back to normal after the restrictions of the pandemic, I’ve wasted no time in getting interested parties back on farm.

In April we have had visitors from Tesco, Pilgrim’s Pride and the RSPCA, as well as UK and internationally based journalists.

My diary commitments for May look to be carrying on this theme, kicking off with a day’s filming for Farming Connect.

We’re going to produce a video farm tour in a short documentary format with lots of innovation and development content.

The aim is to showcase what we have been getting up to in recent years on farm.

Exactly what I’ve taken on here has yet to really sink in, but with some skilful editing I’m sure something worthwhile will emerge.

The month of May also sees the long-awaited return of the Pig & Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh, and I have pledged my time to help friends talk about their pig equipment on their stand.

Their show display is always worth a visit, and I will be there for the duration talking and listening pigs. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting, please say hello.