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Here’s How Seven Sons Farm Manages Pigs On Pasture

By   /  November 20, 2017  /  2 Comments

When managing pigs on pasture, Seven Sons Farm focuses on meeting the triple bottom line of health of the land, business and community. See how they achieve these goals.

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At Seven Sons Farm we have 3 foundational tenets for good stewardship that guide the management
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About the author

Blaine has spent his life working on the family farm. During high school Blaine pursued an interest in multimedia design and marketing. Blaine's interest in marketing served as an integral part of helping his family develop a direct marketing business. Today Blaine is employed full time at Seven Sons and is responsible for overseeing daily marketing and distribution activities. Blaine enjoys sharing the Seven Sons story by speaking to consumer and producer groups and has offered consulting to numerous direct marketers and has written for grazing publications.

2 Comments

  1. Paul Nehring says:

    I think this is a fairly good way to use some of those nutrients from winter feeding, but there is one issue…In Wisconsin we are on a phosphorous standard for nutrient management planning, which is a requirement for all livestock producers. Phosphorous will build up in that area, since you are bringing feed in during the winter, and recycling during the summer as pigs eat the annuals. Over time, you will have excessive levels of phosphorous.

    While I don’t see nutrient runoff as a potential problem with your system, but the phosphorous buildup is an issue as it is wasting that nutrient to have it build up in one area past what the plants need to grow–remember that phosphorous is mined, and there is a limited supply on our planet. Some experts suggest we are at peak levels of phosphorous already, and if that is the case, we need to make better use of it.

    Your system is far better than others where crops are grown in tilled soil, year after year, where soil erosion and nutrient runoff becomes a big issue, and causes dead zones and algae blooms in lakes. I am just saying that the buildup of phosphorous is one area that is inefficient in your system and you guys are too smart to ignore that. I know you will figure out a way to deal with it.

    I am dealing with this too, as of this winter I am overwintering hogs for the first time. I have always tried to be conscientious about our cattle manure, by overwintering cattle in different paddocks where they can eat snow for water, or wintering them in a confined area, with a bedded pack, and spreading manure back on hay ground. With pigs, we are buying in feed, which means buying in nutrients, including phosphorous, so now I need a new plan.

    I invested in Idaho pigs, which supposedly will do just fine on hay alone, albeit slower growing, so that we can feed them from hay we produce, to avoid bringing in nutrients–our soil is not deficient in P, as it is a former dairy farm. I plan to grow corn, and other annuals on their wintering area, but also plan to move their wintering area. That means access to water is needed. I haven’t solved that one yet.

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