The business includes pigs and arable, which gives great opportunity for synergies throughout the business.
Farmer: Charlie Parker
Address: Southburn, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 9ED
Member since 2001 and LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2001
JSR Farms Ltd have been farming since 1958 and is one of the UK’s largest family farming businesses. In total, JSR farms over 10,000 acres on 15 sites. Southburn is the centre of the company’s arable business, consisting of a 1,280 acre arable and pig farm. The arable production provides pig feed for JSR’s significant pig genetics and commercial pig production businesses. Internationally, JSR Genetics Ltd is globally recognised in the field of pig genetics with the JSR brand synonymous with leading pig genetics across four continents. The 550 sow commercial unit at Southburn uses JSR genetics to produce the finest quality pork and bacon under the highest welfare standards. In return, the arable land benefits from a wealth of valuable organic manures branded as ‘Solid and Liquid Gold’. A six year rotation is utilised including wheat, barley, vining peas, potatoes, oilseed rape, willow (as a dedicated energy crop), permanent pasture and conservation areas. Wheat and barley are primarily feed varieties fed to the pigs, peas frozen for Swaythorpe Growers marketed as ‘Yorkshire Peas’, potatoes for seed multiplication and baking potatoes for the supermarket shelf. On Southburn, two thirds of the soil is clay loam and one third chalky gravel, both producing high yields.
JSR is also one of the founding farms of the Stabiliser breed and owns the Stabiliser Cattle Company.
JSR has invested in several forms of renewable energy (biomass, wind and solar) to reduce energy costs in the business. Willow is harvested as woodchip and increasingly used in-house in heating schemes, including Southburn House. Both roof and ground mounted solar PV schemes run at Southburn to generate electricity for the busy farmyard (office, pig unit and potato stores). Two medium sized wind turbines, located a few miles from Southburn on another JSR farm, provide electricity for one of the commercial pig units.
JSR has twice been awarded the prestigious Silver Lapwing Award for outstanding conservation achievement within the constraints of sound commercial farming. Hedge cutting is done on a rotational basis and grass margins around all water courses act as ‘buffer strips’ to protect water quality. Creation of ‘beetle banks’ provide nesting cover and breeding ground for beneficial insects.
Southburn has a stream side meadow and scrub strip on the south side of Eastburn beck, about a mile in length covering 20 acres and is managed as a wildlife conservation area. Barn owls, kingfishers and brown trout can often be seen. The stream bank at both sides is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In other areas of the farm, ponds have been created to encourage a variety of wildlife, flora and fauna. JSR are also undertaking a ‘Wilderness Project’, creating an area of part flooded permanent grass as a patchwork quilt of different habitats for local key species including water vole, barn owl, Kingfisher.
We believe we have a very positive message of sustainable farming using Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to put across to a wide audience. We want to show how safe food production from a large-scale farming operation, using both modern and traditional technology, goes hand in hand with enhancing the environment through the creation of additional wildlife habitats and maintaining existing conservation areas around cultivated fields. If you are interested in visiting this LEAF Demonstration Farm, then please contact [email protected]. Thank you.