Case Study: The Hadinghams were looking to diversify their mainly arable business back in 2015, since then they have constructed a 2000 place finishing farm, which they run alongside their arable farm and contracting business
The Hadingham family run a 1000 acre predominately arable farm in Suffolk. In September 2016 the Hadinghams completed two pig buildings, with a capacity to hold 2000 pigs. The weaner to finisher system takes weaners in at 7kg and finishes them at around 110kg. The decision to diversify in to pigs was taken after the family were looking to add another dimension to their predominately arable based business. Although they did have some buildings used for pigs in the past, these were old open yards, it was not cost effective to adapt these to suit finishing pigs.
Other pig producers were considered and contacted by the Hadinghams, however they knew of Paul Howland who also finishes pigs for BQP. As well as visiting Paul’s site and seeing his modern pig buildings, Paul also explained to Rob and his brothers about the support and the guidance that BQP offer with a dedicated fields person and vet. The Hadinghams decided to go ahead with BQP and started the process of planning for the buildings on a greenfield site close to the main farmyard.
Rob admits that the planning application was the most difficult part of the whole process, as “we are farmers, not planning advisers,” he exclaims! An initial application for the pig buildings was rejected, however with the help from Ian Pick a planning consultant specialising in planning for livestock buildings, the second application went through swiftly. “We did have one objection, but as our application was robust with noise surveys and odour reports, the objection was dismissed”, explains Joe.
Although all the brothers muck out the pigs and help with routine pig jobs, Rob Hadingham, the youngest of the three brothers was the lead in looking in to having pigs with BQP and takes the lead role with the day to day management of the pigs. Rob now manages a successful finishing farm, with 6 batches under his belt already. On the last batch, a feed conversion rate was achieved of 2.18, which is the highest possible category and attracts the highest possible bonus payment for feed conversion. For any farming businesses considering whether to diversify in to contract rearing pigs, Joe highlights the security of income that BQP have provided, “having pigs with BQP provides a safe investment for money and compliments our current farming business”, concludes Rob.