This case study focuses on soil management in UK outdoor pig production and developing improvements in the pork supply chain.

VALERIE themes covered:
1. Crop rotation, soil cover management and integrated pest management ►
3. The management of agricultural soils as integrated agro-ecological systems ►
5. Integrated supply chain services and tools, innovative farm management ►

Livestock welfare, quality and efficiency of production and minimising impact on the environment are key priorities at all stages of the pig production process.

Location: Norfolk and Suffolk counties of East Anglia, England, UK
Main land use: outdoor pig and arable production
Stakeholders: agricultural levy board, supply chain, independent agricultural and environmental adviser group and farmers/producers
Key issues:
o    Maintaining good soil cover on outdoor pig breeding fields
o    Enhancing buffer strips to deliver multiple environmental benefits
o    Managing rotations to enhance productivity and production efficiency
o    Establishing green cover by undersowing in the previous crop

Case study updates:
• Two outline planning meetings were held in summer 2014 which identified key stakeholders, knowledge gaps and potential goals/innovations.

Field trials:
• Issues to be addressed in the field trials:
o    Maintaining good soil cover on outdoor pig breeding fields
o    Cover cropping after removal of pig herds

• Field trials will be hosted on farms where outdoor pig herds are a permanent part of the overall farm rotation. The trial aims are:
o    To look at a range of different grass mixes used on outdoor pig sites to identify the best performing mix in terms of long last ground cover and maintaining /improving soil structure
o    To look at the benefits of cover crops planted in fields immediately after the pig herd leaves the field

• Trials will commence in 2016.

Contact: Jim Egan; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.