Harvest at Plocks Farm
Unbeknown to some, Harvest is a busy time at GA. In addition to manufacturing pet food, GA is part of a working family farm that has been farming for over 50 years. Many of our own grown produce are used in the manufacturing of our pet foods. Using our own raw materials gives us complete control and reliability of quality ensuring the grains which are manufactured into our customers products are of the highest standards.
The farm has been growing a mixture of oats, barley and wheat for over 50 years; however, more recently the demand for oats in pet food has surpassed the need for wheat and barley. This year over 400 acres have been used for producing oats, which will yield around 1,400 tonnes.
Each year in late September the seeds for the following year’s crop are sown into the ground, when Harvest comes around in August GA uses two to four combine harvesters and its own carters to collect all the grain from the fields. Each trailer load of grain is taken over our weighbridge at Plocks Farm to be weighed; the mycotoxin and moisture content is checked using our onsite Food Safety Laboratory. The grain is then stored in our moisture controlled grain stores where it will be dried and will remain until it is needed in production.
All oats grown on the farm will be used as a raw material in the pet food and the remaining straw will be sold to local farmers for their livestock. In addition to the 400 acres of oats, 150 acres are left fallow in order to encourage moisture and nutrients back into the soil. Recycled waste from the pet food production is spread onto this land in a process designed to aid the sustainability of the soil environment and provide areas for wildlife to live and feed. This is part of GA’s continual dedication to the local environment.
In addition to GA’s environment efforts, the farm is part of the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme, the scheme encourages a range of good agricultural practices across the land, which involves leaving un-cropped areas for nesting birds, building wild bird boarders and hedgerow/ditch management. These along with other measures ensure that the countryside surrounding GA remains in a healthy working order providing a sustainable environment for future generations.
Here at GA, Harvest is still in full swing with GA tractors working around the clock collecting all the produce off the fields and preparing the land ready to start the whole process again in a couple of weeks.