Its beginning to become clear to me that the marketing of sustainable =
livestock production is
going to take year around production. I have three serious leads for =
alternative hog markets(one organic, one requires pasture and no =
antibiotics, and one local). All of these markets are going to take a =
year round pork supply. In fact the largest demand(summer) would =
require a larger portion of yearly=20
farrowings during the winter.
We have always been a seasonal operation. We currently farrow twice a =
year. Spring and Fall.
But we have been seriously considering farrowing only once a year in =
late spring/early summer. These are by far our cheapest pigs to produce =
because of forage availability and their ability to hog down corn. They =
are also a lot lower labor requirements because of nice weather and not =
having to grind feed for them. Quality of life is the primary reason =
for considering a once a year farrowing operation. =20
It seems to me that if I have been considering once a year farrowing =
that pursing a year round alternative market would be a step backwards.
It would be nice to have a crystal ball to know how long independant =
hog producers will have market access. If the hog industry ends up like =
the poultry industry, the time to give alternative markets serious =
consideration is now.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Gunthorp's Pasture-ized Pork
LaGrange, Indiana (a stones throw from Ohio & Michigan)
visit our farm at www.grassfarmer.com
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