Historically outdoor pigs have formed the backbone of our cropping rotations at Foxburrow Farm.
The light sandy soils associated with our Bylaugh and Elmham farms have greatly benefitted from the uplift in organic matter the pigs provide and so have been traditionally rotated around the arable cropping plan. An example of this rotation will see the outdoor pigs be in situ for two years on a field and then we would follow them with four years of arable crops.
The muck a pig can produce is a highly valuable product within the nutrition cycle of arable crops and can see a much-desired reduction in artificial fertilisers, especially in the form of phosphorous, which is often applied in the Spring when the arable crops start to mature.
Sadly, over the years, we now no longer have our own pigs in situ on the farm, but instead we work closely with our friendly neighbours, who do have outdoor pigs and we harness the required nutrition by ‘straw for muck’ arrangements.
Straw for muck sees us provide the pig farmer with their years requirement of bedding straw at harvest time. As the pig units are ‘mucked out’ we take this muck back to the farm and spread it across the fields as required. This in turn gives us the nutritional benefits we need to feed our soils and keep all the wonderful micro-biology alive.
As we always say, a healthy soil leads to healthy crops which in turn produces healthy food.