End of the Road for Small Livestock Farms?

digger64

Member
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
It has been exactly the same here I could have written that .
 
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 .
After the dreaded in 2001 the government coincidentally appeared with some pre prepared stewardship agreements to sign
Stock was making diddly squat buying extra tonnes of fertiliser and feed wasn’t appealing to produce sheep and cattle for next to nowt
You have to remember how we got here
A lot of it was survival
 

toquark

Member
A fairly rundown house with 10acres went on the market near hear last month. Closing date within 24 hours, 16 offers and it sold 60% over guide price.

There is huge amounts of money flowing from the city into the country right now.
 

Hilly

Member
A fairly rundown house with 10acres went on the market near hear last month. Closing date within 24 hours, 16 offers and it sold 60% over guide price.

There is huge amounts of money flowing from the city into the country right now.
They saying property everywhere has taken big jump not just countryside , some amount of money floating about this country time we had a real rise !
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
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 .
I have always thought it must be an uphill battle buying in all your hard feed and straw. We ran a small native suckler herd here for a few years and being arable as well with plenty of straw available and odds and ends of loads of cereals the sucklers cost very little in inputs and the beast sold fat made what we thought were reasonable prices. Even then I would have thought anywhere south of Leeds would be able to get plentiful cheap straw locally but maybe I’m wrong. And with some native breeds needing very little hard feed to produce stores what exactly is the big expense in production? I’ll admit that vets bills where quite a cost to us but that was down to our inexperience and bad management. We learned they thrive on very little but do badly on too good a common.
 

JP1

Member
Livestock Farmer
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.
Nobody should ever be able to sell carbon credits. Industrials and aviation can sort their own issues and all this b'llocks about the cows being the big issue can just do one. Not many who left the G7 went home on an electric bike
 
Location
Ceredigion
I have always thought it must be an uphill battle buying in all your hard feed and straw. We ran a small native suckler herd here for a few years and being arable as well with plenty of straw available and odds and ends of loads of cereals the sucklers cost very little in inputs and the beast sold fat made what we thought were reasonable prices. Even then I would have thought anywhere south of Leeds would be able to get plentiful cheap straw locally but maybe I’m wrong. And with some native breeds needing very little hard feed to produce stores what exactly is the big expense in production? I’ll admit that vets bills where quite a cost to us but that was down to our inexperience and bad management. We learned they thrive on very little but do badly on too good a common.
We have to haul straw around 150 miles but it's not all bad , best grass growing Areas in the country so swings and roundabouts
 

Hilly

Member
Put prices received in 1990s for cattle in a inflation calculator and boom you get today’s prices lol we ain’t had any rise in price at all ! And the farmers running about thinking they are weekend millionaires
I have always thought it must be an uphill battle buying in all your hard feed and straw. We ran a small native suckler herd here for a few years and being arable as well with plenty of straw available and odds and ends of loads of cereals the sucklers cost very little in inputs and the beast sold fat made what we thought were reasonable prices. Even then I would have thought anywhere south of Leeds would be able to get plentiful cheap straw locally but maybe I’m wrong. And with some native breeds needing very little hard feed to produce stores what exactly is the big expense in production? I’ll admit that vets bills where quite a cost to us but that was down to our inexperience and bad management. We learned they thrive on very little but do badly on too good a common.
i have found an alternative to hauling straw , cheaper as good and deliverd happy days !
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
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.
It would seem this is simply piling more costs onto our manufacturing businesses making them even less competitive compared with the likes of China, great idea for the future
 
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
interesting lets do some maths

buy in may at 350kg at 250ppk for £875, sell in oct at 462kg at 230ppk for £1062 leaving £187 margin, take £40 for commission £30 for fert £17.50 for mortality and £20 for fences/water/fuel leaving £79.50, stock at 1.5 per acre so £120/acre profit, sound about right?
 

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