A chaotic finish to the year, at least spring is around the corner

Happy New Year! Fingers-crossed, it looks like being a pretty good year ahead for everyone involved in pig production, allowing, of course, for the ever-present risk of disease from mainland Europe.

The weeks in the build-up to Christmas were, for us, pressurised, to put it mildly.
The shorter days are bad enough, but this was compounded by a water crisis.

We have one borehole and that isn’t enough for the increased herd size of 1,250 sows, plus a few finishers. So in the summer we tapped into my landlord’s irrigation system, which worked well until the vegetable crop’s needs ceased. The system was unable to cope with our meagre requirement, and underground joints kept bursting.
I was able to quickly get a new borehole sunk and so far so good. Unfortunately, a nearby residential tenant on the estate wouldn’t let us use their electricity supply – despite my offer to pay the entire bill for them (giving them free electricity, in effect). They just didn’t want pigs near their home.

So plan C is to get a separate electricity supply connected. Of course, this involves the painfully slow and expensive experience of dealing with a monopoly.
So, allowing for the months that it will take to be fully set up, I hired a generator. The result? More complaints from my neighbours. Fortunately, it has been pointed out to them that it was their unhelpfulness that led to the need for the generator in the first place.

Just having enough hours in the day not to have to leave too many jobs until tomorrow and to be able to spend a few minutes a day in the office would be life-changing for me at the moment.

They are very fortunate that I didn’t get the V10 engine generator up for sale in one of Peter Crichton’s recent auctions.
Amid this chaos, I made my first trip to Eurotier, in Hanover. The event was excellent, although the two days our small group was there wasn’t nearly enough for more than a superficial look round the vast trade show.

I also made it to the Nuffield conference in Newcastle, which, as usual, was inspiring. The last paper was from a Welsh rare breed charcuterie producer, who had once been convinced the future lay with artificial or cellular meat. That exemplified to me the life-changing experience that ‘doing a Nuffield’ can bring.
Just having enough hours in the day not to have to leave too many jobs until tomorrow and to be able to spend a few minutes a day in the office would be life-changing for me at the moment.

On the plus side, we are now past the shortest day and a benefit of getting older is that time passes more quickly, so spring is not too far distant.

Get Our E-Newsletter - Pig World's best stories in your in-box twice a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.

About The Author