End of the Road for Small Livestock Farms?

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
Probably does for smaller parcels. But lifestyle blocks are the exclusive land use in some parts of NZ.

For larger blocks of UK land, no I don't think so. Foreign investment is the main competition, much like NZ. Of course, thanks to Cindy, NZ now has the additional pressure of carbon offset forestry.
Its pressure on house prices is thr biggest problem,
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
Spring trade is often dear backend trade is often cheaper and less cattle available in the spring loads available in the backend
Can you see what I’m saying

Yep you're saying buying in spring and finishing/rearing on, isn't viable on a cheap grass system.
I didn't know, that's why I used a question mark in my post.
So all those buying in spring and pushing the price up are losing money on stock, so why buy them in the first place?
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Yep you're saying buying in spring and finishing/rearing on, isn't viable on a cheap grass system.
I didn't know, that's why I used a question mark in my post.
So all those buying in spring and pushing the price up are losing money on stock, so why buy them in the first place?
BPS money is paid in Jan. Got to spend it on something, and most proper farmers would rather waste money than grass.
 
Yep you're saying buying in spring and finishing/rearing on, isn't viable on a cheap grass system.
I didn't know, that's why I used a question mark in my post.
So all those buying in spring and pushing the price up are losing money on stock, so why buy them in the first place?
Well if you buy in the spring and sell in the autumn when the grass is finished you are buying at the dearest time and selling at the cheapest potentially
 

Dave645

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
N Lincs
Caravan man in village is same . Told him last year when COVID lock down came on to buy every one he could afford and then borrow , we had a divvy in two , bit of gamble but he had over 40 in his yard and a sweat on , but f me he sold them all even sticking an extra 1000 on some and more on others , now he is struggling to find them as every one wants them , but we think next year when folk can fly abroad job will go quiet , then buy on a depressed market when they all off load them to pay for foreign holidays 🤫
COVID will effect people’s thinking until it’s under control, as that’s unlikely to be any time soon people’s thinking will be effected by it, while I am sure some normalcy will return, things will never be the same again. Big event change some people attitudes permanently.
In my village nearly every property up for sale has sold, my guess is town and city people not wanting to be trapped in unban areas again, if we have another lock down.
Attitudes have shifted.
 
from what you have said the last straw is the recent forage/straw costs - is this a climate related bad year or has the inflated price been created by new demand pressures /policies ?

Definitely made worse by climate related issues, with shortage of forage and high straw costs.
However unless we see sustained and significant increases in the values of livestock then the loss of the BPS with no environmental payments to make up for the difference makes this land redundant.

This year there will be loads of forage and straw will be much cheaper as long as it doesn't have to be transported too far.
Cattle prices are much better but selling stores from native cattle is not a licence to print money, but the costs are normally very low as no hard feed is ever needed and normally it is only a 4/5 month winter not 6/8 as it has been recently. There is also no doubt the TB issue is a major concern and ever increasing cost to the small producer. Pre movement tests and the worry of a breakdown all add to the stress.
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
Well if you buy in the spring and sell in the autumn when the grass is finished you are buying at the dearest time and selling at the cheapest potentially
Your last word sums it up.
Hopefully they will have grown and grown relatively cheaply so you are selling a much bigger animal than you buy,
Just think of all the costs you simply would not have if you didn't over winter any cattle

Get tb and of corse you are fecked.
The government should carry on supporting cattle farming if for no other reason than compensation for them spreading tb, which is what they have done for the last few decades
 
There's no where near 60 million people looking to buy land in UK. I bet those with the financial means are less than 1mil.

This with means and motivation will be even less.
I don't know what the numbers of people who want to buy land are, but I do know it is growing very fast. Talking to an agent the other week he said the enquiries for houses with land or just bare land have rocketed.

Much of this is people relocating because they are going to work from home long term and after being in lockdown want space
 
Your last word sums it up.
Hopefully they will have grown and grown relatively cheaply so you are selling a much bigger animal than you buy,
Just think of all the costs you simply would not have if you didn't over winter any cattle

Get tb and of corse you are fecked.
The government should carry on supporting cattle farming if for no other reason than compensation for them spreading tb, which is what they have done for the last few decades
Potentially as in 9 out of 10 years that’s the case
 

spin cycle

Member
Location
north norfolk
COVID will effect people’s thinking until it’s under control, as that’s unlikely to be any time soon people’s thinking will be effected by it, while I am sure some normalcy will return, things will never be the same again. Big event change some people attitudes permanently.
In my village nearly every property up for sale has sold, my guess is town and city people not wanting to be trapped in unban areas again, if we have another lock down.
Attitudes have shifted.

any property round here being sold over the phone.....no viewing or survey.....buyers just ring estate agent and buy it before someone else does
 
from what you have said the last straw is the recent forage/straw costs - is this a climate related bad year or has the inflated price been created by new demand pressures /policies ?
In the northern hills which is traditionally a sheep and suckler cow area it has been the most expensive winter we have had.

The weather has changed in recent years, I don't know whether this is the new pattern or a blip.

Our cows are housed for 4-6 weeks longer than they used to be. This has a big cost when you are buying straw and means you need more silage, putting pressure on stocking rate. Also because of the very late spring, grass crops are looking lighter than normal

I think straw will remain expensive because the cost of haulage will rise and there is so much going to power stations etc and more people will chop it to try to increase soil OM.

We may be getting more for cattle but input prices have shot up, all these factors are making people question the job, its more than just the subsidy issues
 

Dave645

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
N Lincs
Definitely made worse by climate related issues, with shortage of forage and high straw costs.
However unless we see sustained and significant increases in the values of livestock then the loss of the BPS with no environmental payments to make up for the difference makes this land redundant.

This year there will be loads of forage and straw will be much cheaper as long as it doesn't have to be transported too far.
Cattle prices are much better but selling stores from native cattle is not a licence to print money, but the costs are normally very low as no hard feed is ever needed and normally it is only a 4/5 month winter not 6/8 as it has been recently. There is also no doubt the TB issue is a major concern and ever increasing cost to the small producer. Pre movement tests and the worry of a breakdown all add to the stress.
Roll on carbon tax, if I had any advise it’s hold on to that permanent pasture and hope carbon taxes start to be a thing, then do a farm audit on your carbon, and see if you have any credits you can sell.
This is the end game of the new environmental system, they want farmers to create carbon credits that other buissiness have to buy to get to carbon neutral, I imagine those small farms will be carbon credit gold mines.

so while this thread is doom and gloom, about subs carbon credits if priced correctly will replace it for the right farming setup.
We have yet to see the final version of these schemes, but I watch climate change things and the move is to create a system to encourage a transition to net zero, that term net zero is very important, some things will not be zero emissions any time soon but they can be net zero if they can find carbon credits to offset them. That’s where things are going and if you want to take advantage you want half an eye on your farms carbon foot print, and my guess is those little hill farms that buy local where possible and sell locally will be in good positions to have carbon credits to sell.

Hope that’s a sliver of light in the gloom. This is my best guess on what’s going to happen, I have no insider knowledge so take it as a best guess only.
Before making radical changes to your thinking though it may pay to do a carbon audit for your farm. . .https://www.fas.scot/carbon-audits/#:~:text=Carbon audits are open to all farming and,to receive one free carbon audit per year.

https://www.cfeonline.org.uk/environmental-management/climate-change-mitigation/carbon-auditing/
These were just 2 results after Googling carbon audit, the fact grants are available in Scotland seems a possible indication of where things are going.
 
Last edited:
Location
Ceredigion
You make a valid point, however the margin on store cattle will be small as the grass is not good enough to finish cattle. Buying store cattle and selling them again as stores is usually a good way to lose money!
Dairy heifers no longer exist in this area, all cows have now gone.
Not really good grass for finishing store lambs, already let out the winter keep.
Why is grass poor ?
 

digger64

Member
Definitely made worse by climate related issues, with shortage of forage and high straw costs.
However unless we see sustained and significant increases in the values of livestock then the loss of the BPS with no environmental payments to make up for the difference makes this land redundant.

This year there will be loads of forage and straw will be much cheaper as long as it doesn't have to be transported too far.
Cattle prices are much better but selling stores from native cattle is not a licence to print money, but the costs are normally very low as no hard feed is ever needed and normally it is only a 4/5 month winter not 6/8 as it has been recently. There is also no doubt the TB issue is a major concern and ever increasing cost to the small producer. Pre movement tests and the worry of a breakdown all add to the stress.
I think alot of the problem lies in specialisation being totally reliant on another farm for straw / forage exposes a business to the business to things way outside its control . I dont know what the answer is though when the industry / government doesnt appear to see the big picture when it creates new market demand pressures and influences , but taking environmental payments- because they are there , as an individual then finding you cant grow/have enough forage in a difficult season seems to be something I see more often !
I dont know the area , but I dont think generally the land would be redundant though because of the pressures I have just mentioned but different people ,ideas and a rent level related to the enterprise .
 

Hilly

Member
No they don't. Most people just want enough money to see them to their next pay day, with cash for a bit of fun at the weekend.

The overwhelming reason land in the UK is so expensive is the tax regime, followed by subsidy.
Most land is sold to farmers and most last losers are farmers then their is forestry , more pressure from then than anyone at the moment .
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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