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Thread: Farming crisis

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Farming crisis

    On bbc news today, from around the co durham area, and the advisor that use to advise the government on farming saying this is the time for most to pull out of farming, and only the big will survive?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Nothing will beat the survival rate of a compact family farm or one man band,

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    Re: Farming crisis

    An advisor who says what he thinks his employer wants to hear. Much easier and cheaper for DEFRA to work with fewer numbers, same for the supermarkets. This is the same big is best logic that produced the nonsense of thirty years ago that the country only needed 12 slaughterhouses. Policy and legislation then followed which wiped out the small operator to the detriment of competition, animal welfare and the producer.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    On bbc news today, from around the co durham area, and the advisor that use to advise the government on farming saying this is the time for most to pull out of farming, and only the big will survive?
    Was this advisor named Sean?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    More likely that the Powers That Be want their corporate mates to be able to take over farming before it becomes super profitable. Always be suspicious of someone telling you to sell something, because 'you wont get a better offer in the future'. If the future is so grim, why does he want to buy?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone_Waller View Post
    Was this advisor named Sean?
    He is an idiot. Government is controlled from behind the scenes by big business. Supermarkets, hedge funds, banks, accountancy firms etc all have their influence. Farming is a fringe industry at the moment, but it will not always be that way and when it changes the big businesses want to be in control. Small family farms get in the way of that in the same way that small independent shops get in the way of the supermarket monopoly.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by bottg View Post
    He is an idiot. Government is controlled from behind the scenes by big business. Supermarkets, hedge funds, banks, accountancy firms etc all have their influence. Farming is a fringe industry at the moment, but it will not always be that way and when it changes the big businesses want to be in control. Small family farms get in the way of that in the same way that small independent shops get in the way of the supermarket monopoly.
    The idiot was just spouting on "The world at one". Apparently big farms are far more efficient and better for the environment! I don't know what facts he is using to come to this conclusion as in most cases the opposite would apply. A small farm has to micro manage it's resources far more efficiently then a large one, and together with other small farms and business is what makes a viable rural infrastructure. If you start loosing these business the community starts to fail. Maybe he should read Schumacher's classic study "Small is Beautiful"

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    Re: Farming crisis

    really against farming he is ?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Very similar to that piece a while ago from the ex-boss of Tesco's saying that if small shops failed because a supermarket moved into a town, then tough, that was the price of progress.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Like it or not, he has a point. Bigger farms should enable income and time to do the things that the small farmer, who is fully employed by the drudgery of everyday chores, just doesn't do. It enables the farm to have several employees with regular hours and a higher quality of life for all.

    It is all relative of course. 70 years ago a dairy farm with 30 cattle could employ a farm worker and a maid. 50 years ago a 50 cow herd was considered big and could employ a farm worker. Now, a 120 cow herd is apparently a one man band and 600 sucklers or 3000 sheep also struggle to employ people apparently. If the work is that intensive, and calving 600 sucklers and looking after them properly is very labour intensive, some work is bound to be neglected. Let's hope that it is not the animals.

    Farming and food production in the UK needs to be competitive on a world scale. Quite how this scale can be achieved by many small and medium farmers when land is up to 10,000 and acre is beyond me, hence his advice to sell up I suspect.
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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    Like it or not, he has a point. Bigger farms should enable income and time to do the things that the small farmer, who is fully employed by the drudgery of everyday chores, just doesn't do. It enables the farm to have several employees with regular hours and a higher quality of life for all.

    It is all relative of course. 70 years ago a dairy farm with 30 cattle could employ a farm worker and a maid. 50 years ago a 50 cow herd was considered big and could employ a farm worker. Now, a 120 cow herd is apparently a one man band and 600 sucklers or 3000 sheep also struggle to employ people apparently. If the work is that intensive, and calving 600 sucklers and looking after them properly is very labour intensive, some work is bound to be neglected. Let's hope that it is not the animals.

    Farming and food production in the UK needs to be competitive on a world scale. Quite how this scale can be achieved by many small and medium farmers when land is up to 10,000 and acre is beyond me, hence his advice to sell up I suspect.
    There is a farm not so far from here that I would imagine fits your category of large ( 700 odd cows and many employees)....from what I hear his staff do indeed have regular hours....around about 24 hrs a day if the employer could get away with it but being as he cant they work from 4 am to after 7 pm , but they do have a day off every now and then. I am not sure its the staff that have the higher quality of life

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    Re: Farming crisis

    This puppet, who said such a stupid is obviously getting worked by the hand of whichever Supermarket is offering funding to the company or party he works for. It's just a way for the Great Dictatorship that we call supermarket has of getting farmers to think they need to be giants so they have fewer individuals to brainwash into supplying on direct contract with retailers. Which is their long-term aim. If live and open markets for all agricultural produce is supported wherever possible, and the Dictators are forced to compete with each other for our quality food then the more efficiently run farms will be fine regardless of scale.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    He used to work for the NFU. Could be that someone pissed him off there, big time.
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    Re: Farming crisis

    I dont think it is the size of the farm, it is the management and attitude of the farmer that counts big or small.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    always going to be smaller farms ..but there is a trend to bigger mainly due to better systems and costs also depends on the state of farms if they need a huge cash input ..

    say you take 4-5 dairy farms all at a point of needing an upgrade 1 higher spec milking plant may cover the needs better a new shed and pit's 5 lots of plant get changed to one set of newer gear etc etc costs per head lowered better use of staff etc .. we all know there are times we waste a lot of time a day with stuff not working fully

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowabunga View Post
    He used to work for the NFU. Could be that someone pissed him off there, big time.
    Well who ever pissed him off will have the satisfaction of laughing at him now for coming out with a sweeping statement that only a simpleton would lay claim to!!! My neighbour went on a trip to Germany a couple of years ago, most of the farmers there milked 40-50 cows. One man had 50 fleckvieh cows, his cows yielded 8700lt, he sold his dairy bull calves for 500Euro when they reached 100kg and he had time to after the kids when his wife went to look after her elderly mother. My neighbour asked "why don't you expand", the German laughed and said "For What?" Now if we need to keep 500+ cows to achieve this kind of lifestyle, then what's wrong with our country in comparison to theirs?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
    I dont think it is the size of the farm, it is the management and attitude of the farmer that counts big or small.
    Exactly.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    I did not here the adviser, but one important aspect seems to be missing in this discussion, and that is the consumer. The consumer wants a choice - whether it is from the supermarket, the farm shop, the Farmers Market or "bob, back of van". At the moment, they have this, but of course if the supermarkets have their way, it would only be their outlets, and what they want to sell. The legislation in place is already curtailing this choice, and those that sell to supermarkets are straightjacketed in what they produce. Of course they do not want the small family farm, the fred in a shed, the "odd bods" with different produce. At the moment, the small farmer has a choice too - he can choose to work all the hours, sell direct, add value etc. How long before this choice is not there?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by MG Sim View Post
    Well who ever pissed him off will have the satisfaction of laughing at him now for coming out with a sweeping statement that only a simpleton would lay claim to!!! My neighbour went on a trip to Germany a couple of years ago, most of the farmers there milked 40-50 cows. One man had 50 fleckvieh cows, his cows yielded 8700lt, he sold his dairy bull calves for 500Euro when they reached 100kg and he had time to after the kids when his wife went to look after her elderly mother. My neighbour asked "why don't you expand", the German laughed and said "For What?" Now if we need to keep 500+ cows to achieve this kind of lifestyle, then what's wrong with our country in comparison to theirs?
    What indeed? It is a mystery how the continental farmers get such a better lifestyle from less output than we do in the UK. Anyone who travels will know this to be true.
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    Re: Farming crisis

    I detest the man and think he is an embarrassment to the industry. The fact he formerly worked for the NFU is all the more reason to think of him as a slightly brain damaged parrot.

    How are large farms more efficient or better for the environment? On what basis? I can show him bloody great pig farms in the US where they spread slurry 24/7 and turn all the surrounding land into a marsh.

    The family farm where there has always been pressure to innovate and streamline or grow sustainably will always win, always. Their mindset is just totally different. Doesn't matter if they have 250 acres or 2000, their way of thinking, and attitude is just different, they farm 'from the heart'.

    Very large units just rely on dozens of guys, who don't have the same attachment to the farm and who can blame them? Then of course they get big farm-itis and just think they can steam roller their way through business, strangle all their suppliers and then moan like buggery there is no service in the supply chain any longer.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    ...... just think they can steam roller their way through business, strangle all their suppliers and then moan like buggery there is no service in the supply chain any longer.

    Sounds familiar....

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    Re: Farming crisis

    It strikes me that most failing (as I see it) farmers in the UK have one thing in common. Engagement with the public. They want to do the farming bit. That's fine. They put in all the labour and work crazy hours right up to the point where their product leaves the farm and then sell it to anyone for any price. Am I wrong? Moaning about the price of lamb at the mart. Moaning about supermarkets not paying enough. Moan, moan, moan. Any business where the cost of production is higher than the sale price is not a business. I don't know quite what it is but it's not a business.

    I think the biggest challenge UK farming faces over the next decade is how to get some of the margin back that these slugs from the supermarkets, the nitrogen and pesticide companies, the consultants, the whoever else are taking off them.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Supermarkets won't be happy until they have a smaller number of farmers to deal with. These farmers would need to be giants, on a supply contract which is drawn up by the supermarket themselves which will keep that farmer over a barrel. These farmers would be in so deep with capital and overheads they wouldn't be able to get out of their situation where they've put up a new Dairy, pig or poultry unit for 1,000,000. At that point the supermarket starts to tighten the screws, or create hurdles that are almost impossible to jump. Supporting these Dictating monsters is like sending arms to Iraq, sending funding to Robert Mugabe or any other dictator of your choosing!!! Supporting live auctions, open markets and avoid direct contracts with them, they cant dictate your every move if everyone does that.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    But some people never learn. They will borrow that million for a pig unit and they won't understand how the contract that looks good today will be a chain around their necks in 5 years time. Mr Tesco telling us everything has changed etc. should be taken with a pinch of salt at best. Better ignored. The only way anyone makes good money selling to a supermarket is if they have a unique product that is protected.

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    Re: Farming crisis

    A first rate BFF discussion! I recently picked up a piece from a US farm economist who believes that the huge farm units are more vulnerable than smaller ones with less money borrowed. which makes our family farms more secure. Which we all know makes sense. Against this is a piece in this week's Time magazine (yes, I know, how do I find time to read all this stuff) about Dutch v Greek tomatoes. The Dutch are even exporting to Greece. The hi-tech toms from Holland compete with the real thing from Greece and Italy. But southern Europe is catching up, and Spanish growers are now using substrate beds rather than soil and greenhouses with heating and biological control, and some are partnering with Dutch producers. The Greeks are missing out, and their poor productivity is only one problem - they are outside the tight-knit distribution channels made up of middle men who pay farmers low prices and take a big markup. The business is a fascinating example of how technology has transformed - not necessarily for the good of either producer or consumer - a market which has become controlled by a few huge buyers from major supermarkets. Whether the product is one which we will all really enjoy in our salad is another matter!

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    .

    I think the biggest challenge UK farming faces over the next decade is how to get some of the margin back that these slugs from the supermarkets, the nitrogen and pesticide companies, the consultants, the whoever else are taking off them.
    Nitrogen and pesticides have been the saviour of many small farms.
    Do you want to go back to a few pot-bellied husk-ridden calves in a field of buttercups?

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    Nitrogen and pesticides have been the saviour of many small farms.
    Do you want to go back to a few pot-bellied husk-ridden calves in a field of buttercups?
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could make a living like that. No doubt there is some homeopathic cure for husk, fluke and other parasites and pests that will ease the little calve's suffering.
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    Re: Farming crisis

    The best thing that can happen IMO as far as the likes of Tesco are concerned is that you don't have any supply deals with them, if you take your produce to a live market to obtain market driven price you can come home satisfied that you received the best possible price on that day (or if you're unhappy you had a product that nobody wanted). Tesco don't want to be in this situation cos it would take up too much manpower to go buying all the meat they need to keep themselves going never mind not knowing how little it'll cost. So if you go to live auction you are better placed to support your local economy by using a local service where local people get employment and high quality food from a quality supplier. If the supermarkets can't buy direct they can't have a stranglehold on your business. How many other businesses out there in the real world invest loadsa money, take a long time to bring the fruit of their labours to being ready to sell to the customer and have sooo little control over the price we receive for our work!

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    Re: Farming crisis

    Rickard and the other lemmings always talk about economics in today's terms disregarding all the other factors that will come in to play.

    Good farmland is finite yet planners and others still don't give it a priority when planning for building is considered

    How "efficient" are big farms in terms of fossil fuels?

    The BBC's own correspondent the other day said on the radio, "farmers have had grants to drain their land and others now have to deal with the consequential flooding " . Er so it was nothing to do with building entire Legoland towns in Bucks and Northamptonshire

    My friend in Dartmoor still tells me why in his Dad's day sheep rustling was such a crime, one lamb paid a man's wages for a week

    Get the supermarkets to stop buying land banks, the councils to stop presumption in favour of out of town supermarkets yet wanting their Rates from all even in a recession and we might see a difference

    I'm not holding my breath

  30. #30
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    Re: Farming crisis

    Boris Johnson has the answer

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...untryside.html

    Boris Johnson: Build airports, power plants and railways on the countryside

    Boris Johnson has suggested that vast swathes of the English countryside should be used for airports, railways and nuclear power plants.

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