By Matt Donald, pig & poultry producer, north Yorkshire
This summer has been a much easier one than last year for breeding and growing chicken, the dull days and moderate temperatures have meant little pressure on ventilation systems. It’s made for a slow harvest and as I write this, still quite a lot of wheat to cut in the north. The dull weather has supressed yields of both crops and solar production. We have finally got more solar panels up and running to help mitigate electricity costs further.
As our main farm is only single phase, we have always been told we were not allowed anything more than the 30KW we initially had, however a chance application earlier this year to increase production up to 90KW got passed. Although this is small by todays standards, it’s treble what we had been told we were allowed for years.
It just goes to show for farms out there who are on single phase it’s worth asking the question regards increasing solar production, so I’d recommend speaking to your local power grid. It helps us on our journey towards net zero and runs alongside the ground source heat pumps and biomass to increase our green energy. We still need more, but an approval of three phase on the next poultry site means our investments in renewables will be made there first.
The breeders are performing well, we are currently seeing some great hatches coming out of our older flock which are hatching above 89% at 45 weeks and this is a credit to the team on the farm, who are putting more and more focus into both cockerel management and egg quality going into the hatchery. It also shows the recent investment at Dalton hatchery has been worth it as results in breeders come from the whole picture, from rearing right through breeding and hatching, to when the chick is delivered on the broiler farm.