iNDOOR Producer of the Year
Bridge House Farm
Bridge House Farm
Life is never boring at Bridge House Farm, according to Charlie Thompson. There is certainly a lot going on at the Northamptonshire-based winner of the Indoor Pig Producer of the Year Award. It operates a high health 650-sow indoor nucleus unit that has worked successfully with Canadian genetics company Genesus since 2017.
The unit won the 2019 Innovation Award for its use of UHF electronic identification (EID) to deliver accurate and up-to-date data on weight and other variables, which has made the system more efficient, accurate, safe and better for staff.
The unit uses Large White and Duroc stock, achieving more than 35 pigs weaned/sow/year with the Large Whites and excellent performance figures for the Duroc progeny.
Since linking up with Genesus, it has seen massive global demand for its breeding stock and this year it sent its first consignment, of 700 pigs to China, a complex logistical exercise.
Recent investment includes 2,000 new grower and finisher places and a stateof-the-art Roxell feed system, providing detailed data.
“This is a great reward for all the hard work that everyone in our farm team has put in over the last few years since repopulating with Genesus,” said Charlie, a pig farmer and qualified vet from the family business.
“The award hopefully demonstrates and recognises the innovative and modern approach that Bridge House Farm is working hard to deliver.”
He said the award would raise the farm’s profile in the UK and other countries as a good source of ‘fast growing, high health, feed efficient genetics’.
Nucleus pig farming is always complicated, but has become even more so with the volume and complexity of the Genesus genetics programme, he added. “To increase the complexity of our system we are often exporting to different countries that have detailed genetic requirements as well as many stipulations for health testing and quarantine,” he said.
‘This means life is never boring. However, we are lucky to have a great team in place which rises to these challenges whenever they occur.”
Like all successful businesses, Bridge House Farm is determined to keep improving, including developing the systems it has in place, such as the EID technology.
“We have strong sales booked in to China so we need to deliver on these and build on other breeding stock sales within Europe. We will continue to invest and innovate in systems/practices that improve the health and wellbeing of the animals on our farm and the people involved in the business,” Charlie said.
“Brexit will be a logistical challenge for us, especially with our high export demand. However, we have already demonstrated that we can send high value breeding stock in very high welfare conditions across Europe by road or into China and Africa by air. We need solid, stable production for a few years before hopefully our next period of expansion.”