E: info@christy-turner.com  T: +44 (0) 1473 742325 

news

News

mill

Our mills are known for their longevity and reliability, so when asked to write about one of the Christy Turner flagship hammer mills, I had the pleasure of finding one its fans in Lancashire, where Jon Appleton, a second-generation farmer, continues a nationally acclaimed rare breed pig breed empire and farms some 700 acres of arable.

The link between the arable, including wheat, oats, barley, plus 90 acres of potatoes and 60 acres of carrots is the Essex Major Hammer Mill, which first arrived at Stanley Farm back in 1973 when Jon was still at school. With a mere 60 acres of arable in those days, Jon’s father, Jim, looked to pigs to expand the farm.

Typical Output

Cereal

Screen size
(mm)

kilos per hour

7.5kW

5.5kW

4.1kW

2.2kW

Maize

1.5

356-406

267-305

178-203

102-127

3.0

508-610

381-457

254-305

203-229

Barley

1.5

203-254

152-191

102-127

64.76

3.0

356-406

267-305

178-203

102-114

Wheat

1.5

203-305

152-229

102-152

64-89

3.0

406-508

305-381

203-254

127-152

 

As members of The British Pig Association and The Saddlebacks Society, Jim and his fellow rare breed farmers took to the road to all the major county shows and corporate events:

Jon told us “They all individually bred and showed their own pigs, for example: Dad would breed and show British Saddlebacks and Tamworths, Tom Alty (sadly, no longer with us) would show Middle Whites, Chris Penrice would breed and show Berkshires and Gloucester Old Spots and John Simpson bred his own rare breeds also. Dad sadly passed away in 2008, but we’ve continued with the rare breeds”

 Jim’s association with rare breeds took him from appearances on ITV’s This Morning and Blue Peter to promoting the internationally successful ‘Babe’ film as the original ‘One Man and his Pig’.

Jon Appleton married the girl next door, Mary, and their sons James and Jonny have a strong connection with the family business: Jonny is a regular on the farms and James runs a coffee shop in Rosedale Abbey where his sausages are obviously supplied from his family’s farm.

The pandemic has affected the family business, but the ability to adapt and work in cooperation with his clients has seen him keep the farm going through tough times: the suckling pig market was decimated by weddings and parties being off the menus for 18 months, so they have looked to rare breed niche markets where the public have drifted to use local independent retailers and perhaps swapped dining out for dining in with better quality, locally sourced produce. Associations with Sunnyfields Butchers and the Blue Pig Company in Skipton, with the help of Steven Taylor, Morphets, Taylors Farm, SWLF, Mansergh and Target Feeds have grown as new markets and replaced those that relied on bulk catering.

And it’s not just the pig farming that has had to change, 90 acres of potatoes destined for chip shops, Sagitta and Accord amongst them, would be sent to local outlets to avoid haulage costs and ready meal suppliers to the major supermarkets. Any excess, during lockdown, went to the pigs as feed rather than seeing it wasted.

The Essex Major takes care of all the rare breed pig feed: It has done twice a week arrived over 47 years ago, that’s 1.5-2 ton every single week without missing a beat.

Jon tells us “I only buy in spares from Christy Turner such as sieves, hammers, fans and castings and I take care of all of the installs myself”

He continues “Having our own mill allows us to mix up our own feed, always consistent: we add cereals, minerals, salmon oil and soya oil, rich in Omega 3, which transfer to the produce. It’s never missed a day’s work”

To the future, Jon’s team usually includes students from Myerscough College, learning about diversified cropping, cover cropping and FYM application, all traditional practices that work with the land. Amongst the carrot and beet fields, you will find lapwings and oystercatchers ground nesting. Jon tells me “They are very much part of the way we farm”

The same Essex Major has worked with 3 generations of Appletons. Some things just cannot beat tradition and a love of the land and livestock they nurture.

Jon: “For what we’re doing, there’s nothing to replace it”


Read about Jon’s partnerships here:

https://www.facebook.com/grazeonthegreen 

https://bluepigcompany.com

 https://www.sunnyfieldshightown.co.uk

newsletter icon

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news

Invalid Email