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Cereals 2019: Arable farmers look to pigs and poultry

Arable farmers were looking to get the benefits of farmyard manure and secure an extra income stream from diversification into pigs

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Cereals 2019: Arable farmers look to pigs and poultry

Arable farmers were turning to pigs and poultry diversifications as they looked to secure income streams post-Brexit.

 

With soil quality under the microscope and fertiliser prices high, arable farmers were looking at bringing livestock back onto the farm.

 

Speaking at the Cereals Event, Tulip BQP fieldsman Mark Jagger said the sector seemed to be more open to the idea of investing in pig finishing units than dairy, beef and sheep farmers.

 

Pigs

 

Of the units they had seen installed recently, about 95 per cent had been on arable farms.

 

“There are synergies of putting in straw and muck coming out the other end,” he said.

 

“Arable farmers seem to be open minded. They will change a crop if they can make money on it.”

 

He highlighted the Government and the industry were looking closely at soil quality.

 

Mr Jagger added: “So growers are looking at farmyard manure. PNK fertiliser is expensive. But you can get it out of pig muck. I have had some farmers saying actually making out of the pigs is a bonus, it has benefits of its own.

 

“They are aware they need to get something back on the land.”

 

And there was demand for more British pork with retailers wanting pigs from straw based systems.

 

“The UK is only about 40-50 per cent self-sufficient. Our company has said they need to have more British pork through the abattoirs. Some of that is because of Brexit,” said Mr Jagger.

 

Poultry

 

Poultry production was also attractive for farmers as demand for white meat soars in the UK and around the globe.

 

Traditional Norfolk Poultry (TNP) said the idea of free range chickens as a profitable diversification was appealing to arable farmers.

 

Following the launch of its full cycle chicken growing contract at last year’s event, TNP said it had been overwhelmed by interest with the first new unit under construction in East Anglia.

 

The company supplies high-welfare chickens to major UK retailers.


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