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Ways to Avoid Rising Feed Costs

by 5m Editor
14 July 2008, at 10:18am

UK - The pig industry is hard-hit by rising feed and fuel cost challenges and the ever-increasing red tape burdens. Lately, a lot of producers have been reported as stepping out of the industry as a result of the many challenges that it hauls their way.

However, others see the decline as a mere blip in the market with light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling industry. Two farmers from the West Country are investing heavily in the industry at the same time as many are bailing out, reports Farmers Weekly Interactive.

However, others see the decline as a mere blip in the market with light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling industry. Two farmers from the West Country are investing heavily in the industry at the same time as many are bailing out.

The two producers tell very different tales with their reasons for joining the industry, and their unique marketing techniques used to avoid the dilemmas associated with rising costs and the so-called credit crunch.

Having graduated from Harper Adams last year, 23-year-old James Mitchell returned to the family business at Hill Common, Somerset, to set up an outdoor pig herd.

Farming 190 ha (470 acres) of potatoes, apples, cereals, free-range chickens and beef, the whole ethos is to retail the farm's produce through the farm shop, says Mr Mitchell.

"Set-up was a costly investment, with equipment costing most. Although it wasn't the most ideal time to set up with the way the pig market was going, we had confidence in the niche market the shop provides. As we are more in control of the marketable product, we are hoping the credit crunch will not affect our market."

The 70 gilts arrived in October 2007. The Landrace cross Duroc gilt put to Large White was selected as a good hardy outdoor breed, with good carcass conformation and yield and the Duroc element adding taste, he says.

The first batch of pigs is ready for slaughter and will be processed by our own butcher and sold in the shop in the coming weeks, adds Mr Mitchell.

View the FWI story by clicking here.

5m Editor