We started the drier to a deafening thud – cheque book frazzled

Harvest is normally a time I really look forward to. This year was no exception until we started to wind up the machinery.
Combine not a problem, not even a mouse. First trailer load, apart from a little tinkering in the sieves was an excellent sample. Then the ‘wheels came off ’.
We pushed the start button on the drier (even at low moisture levels we dry) to be met by a deafening thud! We eventually managed to track down our electrician.
Diagnosis: Burnt out compressor motor and for good measure burnt out fan motor. Oh, and by the way, the starter has to be replaced as well. It’s just as well the grain price is offering to come back! The cheque book was duly rescued from the drawer!
We then moved on to the next cost. Our main high output hammer mill, which will thump out three tonnes per hour, decided it was wanting in on the act.
Basically the rotor came apart causing terminal decline to both the housing and, of course, for good measure broke the motor casing. As there was no chance of a second-hand one, we had to go to the continent for a new one, only to be informed they only make them to order. So much for their efficiencies!
But true to form, the distributors came up trumps, pulled out all the stops, got one made. Cheque book frazzled!
To round it off, our forklift, which we were unequivocally going to replace at five years and didn’t, decided to give problems. Number two son is now on a mission to find a replacement – to date, I am giving him a wide berth!
Now the interesting pig stuff! We are now starting to sell the progeny off the 900 boar line. Now I am not normally easily impressed… but birth weights and weaning weights are both up; viability and pre-weaning losses are both improved and, the really important one, days to slaughter are down.
It’s very early days and we have some of the previous terminal sire line still coming through, but I would liken it to turning a switch from night to day.
When all the progeny coming through are from the 900, we will get some accurate FCR and growth rate figures. But one other ‘looking over the pen division’ comment is the pigs all look very even, a great bonus as we strive to get pens empty.
It would be remiss of me not to make comment on, at long last, a meaningful price increase. Can the trade – the slaughter and retail sectors – not take a long hard look at themselves?
The retail sector think they are high and mighty, squeezing the pips out of everyone, quoting driving efficies along with other sound bites. As their industry contracts they may not feel so clever.
As they scurry round the continent trying to secure food, which is more expensive all of a sudden, somehow I don’t have sympathy for them!

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.