One of the biggest arguments I've had with other pig farmers, particularly those that want to claim the "pastured pork" term, is how much of their feed actually comes from their land, and how much they truck in.
To be clear; I see nothing wrong with feeding pigs, and with bringing that feed in. I personally feed between 6 and 10 tons a week of produce to my pigs; that would otherwise go to the landfill; my pigs are a much better use of this good food than compost. But I digress.
I just ran across a blog entry where a farmer who's producing 38 hogs a quarter did the math on how much land, and what sorts of crops, they'd have to plant to make that work. So if you're interested, you'll find that blog entry here.
But I'll cut to the chase: To produce 38 pigs every 4 months he has to plant, cultivate, harvest and maintain 61 acres of fields. Some are pasture, some are crops. He goes into details about when he'd plant, and with what. That's fertile, prime farmland.
So to say that you can take 70 acres of marginally fertile mountain land, haphazardly seed it with random stuff and produce hundreds of pigs, and have each of those pigs get "90%" of their diet from that land... uh huh. It's a nice fantasy, a great marketing point. But when you get out the pencil, it just doesn't stand up.
19 hours ago