Comment: Why I’m investing in automation and getting off the farm more

By Matthew Donald, farmer, Donald Pig & Poultry, north Yorkshire

With the start of a new year, it’s chance to look back at what has been achieved in the previous one and what to improve over the coming 12 months. With the previous breeder flock at home achieving our highest result to date of 145 chicks/bird, it was a strong result, but with room to improve still.

A new breeder unit was completed and is all running smoothly, the automated packer has proven a great investment, saving one employee throughout the flock and grading to a standard higher than hand packing.

The increased agriculture investment allowance from January makes spending on technology in 2019 increasingly attractive. We are looking to invest in another Prinzen packer on the older site, improving performance in the hatchery.

Winter now here, it’s chance for everyone to have a break, and take heed of the well-known phrase, ‘get of the farm once a day, out the village once a week, county once a month and country once a year.’ My annual January ski trip is chance to have a rest.

With increasing awareness of mental health on farms, it’s vital that everybody gets time off when they can. This helps individuals who may need the break but not wish to admit it.

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