The Farming column with Sam Walton

Weaner stage bed and breakfast.
Weaner stage bed and breakfast.

If I knew the answer to my question last week as to what the next 52 weeks will bring, I would be able to make all sorts of decisions as to what to do and where to go plus when to sell!

That choice is getting more difficult by the day as wet weather has delayed the drilling of various crops which immediately affect the market for next harvest, or at least seem to do.

However to counteract any small increase, there is a suggestion that the amount of wheat sent for making fuel is to be reduced eventually to 2% of volume.

That will have some effect I assume on the price then paid for feed wheat, or have I read it all wrong?

One thing I do know is that the bed and breakfast scenario in the pig industry is by far and away the largest growth area in the system.

Farms which have never had pigs on before, as well as farmers who have done away with their breeding herd, are now either adapting, utilising as they are, or even putting up new buildings specifically for the finishing of pigs.

To me, that sounds like a good idea in as much as the piglets are away from the original breeding unit and not in contact with other pigs, which in theory should give us healthier pigs. It is usually an all in, all out system before the next batch arrives, certainly for first stage weaners which are only kept on site for between 7 and 10 weeks before moving onto specialist finisher accommodation.

As there are various contracts for finished pigs, the bed and breakfast fits in very well as some are housed on straw and others in specialist accommodation.

What I was not aware of until last week, is that several of my neighbouring farmers have utilised their various buildings and taken pigs in for the first time.