A trail-blazing Norfolk pig farm has been named the best in the country at a national awards ceremony.

LSB Pigs, a 1,600-sow outdoor unit based at East Rudham near Fakenham, won the overall Producer of the Year title at the National Pig Awards.

The judges praised the innovative approach of unit manager Rob McGregor and managing partner Robert Battersby to maximise their own business performance while carrying out trials to benefit the wider industry.

One example is the use of green cover crops, allowing pigs to graze on lush green pastures rather than bare ground.

The trial, carried out with organisations including the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Norfolk Rivers Trust and Anglian Water, has improved pig health and productivity while boosting the environment by preventing soil erosion.

The judges said: "Rob and Robert have an innovative approach to their outdoor pig production resulting in excellent outdoor performance.

"Their trials work, including green cover crops, equipment testing and development benefits the wider industry.

"Breakfast team meetings and a generous production bonus generates a positive team spirit which is the foundation for their productivity success."

LSB Pigs also claimed the Outdoor Producer of the Year title, while Mr McGregor picked up the individual Unit Manager of the Year award.

He said: "This year has been an exceptionally difficult year and the pig industry is still in a bruised state, so just to have an evening out with other producers and celebrate what is good about the industry - it gives you a lift.

"This is a tough job and we put years and years into it, so to know there are people that recognise it at the highest level is hugely satisfying and really motivating for the whole team. We are really pleased about it."

There was more Norfolk success at the London presentation event, with the Herd Productivity Award going to R and C Mellor at Grange Farm in King's Lynn, a 990-sow outdoor unit as part of the BQP / Pilgrims supply chain.

Richard Mellor added the award to the Pig Farmer of the Year title which he won earlier this year at the 2021 Farmers Weekly Awards.

And the family secured another win as trainee unit manager Chloe Mellor was awarded the Trainee of the Year trophy at the National Pig Awards.