12th March 2020

Key Learnings Shared at Final Pig Monitor Farm Meeting

The final meeting of the North-East Pig Monitor Farm Project, being held on Tuesday 17 March 2020 at Lochter Activity Centre, will provide a valuable opportunity for local pig producers to hear about the impact of changes implemented over the four-year programme.

The Pig Monitor Farm Project is funded 50:50 by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The aim of the pig monitor farm programme is to help improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of pig producers through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.

Over the last four years, the host farm has made significant changes in key areas that have impacted on business profitability and sustainability by trialling new practices and technology. Changes have included the building of a new finishing shed, that has seen faster growth rates and increased finishing weights contributing to a 20% increase in productivity. Improvements have also been made to pig health, with new bespoke vaccines being developed that have reduced antibiotic use significantly. 

Owned by Patrick Stephen, the farm employs four members of staff, including farm manager Wayne Ducker. The farm, which has been run as a pig unit since 1960s, has a commercial herd of 530 sows housed on straw and runs JSR females with a Danbred terminal sire.

At the final meeting Patrick Stephen and farm manager, Wayne Ducker will review the latest figures and look to the future and the next steps for the unit.

Mr Stephen commented: “The expertise we have been able to tap into has given us the confidence to go ahead and try new things.”

Allan Ward, Pig Specialist with QMS, said: “The host farm is a great example of a pig business that has made small changes that has delivered significant gains. The final meeting will be a excellent opportunity for attendees to hear about the results of on-farm trials and carbon audit review.”

Grace Webster, North East Pig Monitor Farm Project Facilitator, said: “The north east Pig Monitor Farm has delivered best practice lessons across the entire region.

“I would encourage all with an interest in improving their farm business to attend the final meeting which will look back at what has been learned and to look forward to where the business wants to go in the future,” added Grace.

The 13th and final Meeting of the North East Pig Monitor Farm Project will be held on Tuesday 17th March 2020 at Lochter Activity Centre, Oldmeldrum, Inverurie AB51 0DZ. Coffee will be served from 4.00pm and the meeting will start at 4.30pm with a break for supper at 6.00pm.

For catering purposes please book your place by noon Monday 16th March by contacting Grace Webster on 01651 873302 or email grace.webster@gwpigconsultants.co.uk.

Numbers are strictly limited and places MUST be booked in advance.


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