Last week, Patrick Harms invited the public to check out his new wean-to-finish hog building located just outside of Saunemin in Livingston County.
The building has the capacity to house 4,500 hogs. Phil Borgic, longtime pork producer from Nokomis and Illinois Pork Producers' Association board member, will supply and maintain ownership of the hogs in the arrangement. This is Borgic Farms Inc.'s fifth finishing partnership.
Previously, Borgic was solely in the business of selling weaner pigs. Expanding into contract finishing allows him to utilize additional risk management tools, he says. Plus, a lot of local growers like the idea of picking up a feeding contract from a smaller producer.
"They have my cell phone number and can talk directly to me," Borgic notes.
According to Borgic, the Harms farm is in an ideal location, with access five different pork markets. His strategy has been to lock in finishing capacity with plenty of market options.
With the addition of the Borgic Farms contract, Harms is now finishing 22,400 hogs a year. He says the added manure has been a real boon to the local cash grain farmers. Once he's met his needs on his 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans, Harms knifes in manure on a contract basis with other growers.
IPPA helped sponsor the Harms' open house. Tim Maiers, IPPA's director of public relations, invited folks to ask plenty of questions about the hog operation or the nutrient management program.
"The dedication of Illinois pork producers, such as the Harms family, to do what's right, combined with their innovative spirit to adopt new approaches, has helped them chart a path to success even as the industry has changed," Maiers adds.
According to a University of Illinois' study, the Illinois pork industry contributes $1 billion in direct impact and $1.8 billion, plus 10,533 jobs, of total impact to the state's economy. Additionally, the industry consumes over 69 million bushels of corn and 22.5 million bushels of soybeans each year.