Farmer Roy's Random Thoughts - I never said it was easy.

Discussion in 'Agricultural Matters' started by Farmer Roy, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Mod Note: New thread created by moving some posts.

    Haha - every second post on TFF seems to be about problems with townies, cyclists, dog walkers, trespassers etc etc
    The further from all that the better I reckon
    I couldn't cope with having non farming neighbours . . .
    IMG_3416.JPG IMG_3497.JPG IMG_2873.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2017
  2. PS - the top 2 pics are at home, with 4G connection

    the bottom pic, well, 400km behind me is a telephone box . . .
    300km ahead is 3G at Birdsville only, but another 800 - 1000km before general mobile coverage ( not just in towns )
  3. Where abouts are you? I feel a road trip coming on!
    Brisel and unlacedgecko like this.
  4. rob1

    rob1 Member

    The trouble with that statement is populations tend to get a bit troublesome when food gets too dear or scarce,virtually all revolutions through history have been due to one or the other, governments know this so support food production to try to keep supply and prices stable, if all support world wide was removed both would become very volatile, maybe farmers who were on the ball would do very well by spotting peaks and troughs in supply/prices but history shows that political instabiltiy would rocket.

    I would agree with you that too many just rely on subs to carry on as before

    You said you were very grateful to be isolated, our farm thrives for the very opposite reason, we have loads of customers passing by everyday and taking advantage of that to offer something thwy want and not just produce cheap commodity products that others turn into profit. Each to their own and horses for courses.
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  5. yes indeed, horses for courses. We produce bulk generic commodities, for an export market, so low population density doesn't affect us much. My gratefulness is personal, I have farmed in the UK & am very aware of issues relating to townie neighbours, footpaths, dog walkers, moving equipment down narrow roads etc etc. Our low population however does make it difficult to diversify our industry to say, branded niche products - although some people do make a success of it. I believe in an area with high population density it would open up all sorts of opportunities for diversification & selling direct to the consumer
    As you say, horses for courses. The trick is being able to see the advantages or opportunities in your own location & capitalise on them
    MickMoor and rob1 like this.
  6. 20km south of Gunnedah - AgQuip field days this week !

    desert pic is on the Rig Road between Mt Dare SA & Birdsville Qld
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  7. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Owaka, New Zealand

    Funny looking wheat.. :whistle: sure you're a proper farmer?? :cautious::hilarious:

    How do you plan to feed the world without growing wheat!! :banghead::bag:
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  8. unlacedgecko

    unlacedgecko Member

    North Lincolnshire
    Do you have any stock?
  9. Only my pet bullock IMG_3750.JPG

    I do have a small area of grazing country I currently lease to a neighbour that I am thinking of taking back once the current term ends & I am also thinking about introducing livestock onto the Cropping country ( for soil biology / regenerative agriculture reasons ) once I get my head around the logistics of fences & water infrastructure
  10. opininionated

    opininionated Member

    What size is your cropping area?
  11. Err, maybe another thread is a better place, but I crop approx 800ha ( 2000 ac ) predominantly zero till, dryland ( ie no irrigation ) grain, fibre & pulse crops.
    I am at the smaller end of the scale here, also do contract planting work to supplement income
  12. opininionated

    opininionated Member

    It would be an interesting thread, a year with farmer Roy!
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  13. I shouldn't worry. This thread seems to have fizzled out anyway. What is the crop you're driving through in that picture?
  14. haha - don't tempt me :)

    that is dryland cotton, grown in a skip row configuration ( 2 rows in, 1 row out. To conserve moisture in the skip row area for later in the season as the roots grow out. Based on 1 metre row spacings )
    That pic was taken 27th December. Crop planted in Oct, picked in April
  15. haha - maybe not, but I am clothing the world ( in cotton )
    although, cottonseed oil is one of the main edible oils used in the world . . .

    probably should be in another thread, but what the hell, lets be unconventional.
    My own personal ethics play a part in my farming decisions - as may be noted from some of my other posts re soil, climate etc.
    The MAIN summer grain crop here is sorghum - a feed grain used in cattle feedlots & caged chickens.
    Due to our climate, most barley ends up as "feed" rather than malting, with the same end use
    Downgraded / low protein wheat also goes as "feed"

    Now, personally, I am not a fan of the "industrial" US style of feedlotting cattle - I believe they should be free to graze pastures as God / nature intended, not standing knee deep in their own sh!t for 120 days eating a grain based diet . . .
    I also am not a fan of cage reared eggs / chooks for the same reasons.
    Now, I'm not preaching or being judgemental on anyone, these are just my personal inclinations, along with a whole heap of lefty greeny enviro eco tree hugging hippy nature loving attitudes, as some may have guessed. Along with the cold hard reality of needing to make money.
    Anyway, I did feel a personal conflict with growing feed grains for industries I personally wasn't a fan of . . .
    So, I made a conscious decision to try & only grow crops that contributed DIRECTLY to human wellbeing, not via a third party or process.
    Remember, most of what we produce here is for world export.
    Cotton - human clothing, a vital need
    Durum - straight into the pasta market
    Pulses - a huge number of people worldwide rely on pulses as their main ( & dare I say cheap :bag: ) source of protein. This year I have 400ha ( 1000ac ) of chickpeas - that will feed a hell of a lot of people . . . After the durum / chickpea harvest in Nov - Dec, the intention is that all that country will be planted straight after into mung beans. If there is sufficient moisture available, some or all of that area will be carried through to harvest for the sprouting or processing markets, if not, then I'll call it a cover crop & spray out, or a green manure crop & incorporate into the soil surface . . .

    So basically, my own personal belief is that my products should be directly as much as I can be contributing to human welfare, not compromising animal welfare, whilst also looking after the land & showing good stewardship of the environment.

    I have to admit, I do have a bit of a conflict with growing cotton - not because it is a GM crop, but because that GM technology / licence is owned by Monsanto - but honestly, the MASSIVE reductions in insecticide use, the many environmental benefits of increased biodiversity in the fields, with increased spiders / wasps & other predators actually helping us, bird life etc outweigh my ideological concerns. Besides, cotton is also a major summer crop here & very profitable. I do have bills to pay - " you cant be green if you're in the red" is also a stark reality . . .
    I also have concerns with current zero till practice ( although the MANY benefits would never see me go back to a full conventional cultivation system ) with the high reliance on herbicides, but I am a great believer in our farming systems constantly evolving & finding "better" ways of doing things

    Ultimately, ALL of our human actions have an affect on the world around us, my philosophy is just to try & do the "least possible harm" while still trying to be profitable
    Nothing is cast in concrete, I try & stay as flexible & adaptive as I can. Who knows, one day I may go back to growing sorghum as it does have great value in a rotation ( we have 2 growing seasons a year here ) as another crop type & does produce quite valuable crop residues & root systems . . . everything is a balancing act . . .

    Ok, that's probably enough to get me branded as a complete leftist socialist non farming greeny pinko hippy tree hugger loon who has no idea about "real" farming ;)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  16. Excellent post and very interesting! Have had nothing to do with cotton due to my location so it's interesting to hear about it, especially your views on the GM bit. SA is of course GM free for better or worse, most agree "worse", and that doesn't look likely to change with the current administration openly stating that "there are no votes in the countryside for us so we don't need to worry about what farmers say".

    Start the Farmer Roy Farming Thread immediately!
    unlacedgecko and opininionated like this.
  17. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Owaka, New Zealand
    And a troll :ROFLMAO:

    You forgot the troll bit!! :bag::bag:

    Really quite interesting- you may be our closest neighbour but may as well be a world apart. :)
    Nice to know that ethics primarily steer your decisions, too- I get a lot of flak for doing just that :eek::rolleyes: but it's good to be doing what you like doing, rather than following.
    Or peeing in the same pot as the rest of the world, if that's a better analogy ;)

    According to the books, this farm should be going downhill fast by now, shame that it gets more productive every year :bag:
    Living in a very green landscape, our farm is much greener looking than the surrounding green farms, although it's all beginning to get that 'spring look' around the area now.
  18. And a troll, thanks for reminding me (y)
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  19. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Owaka, New Zealand
    Make quite a good avatar.
  20. unlacedgecko

    unlacedgecko Member

    North Lincolnshire
    :eek: I can't believe you dare show your face here you hippy commie barsteward!

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