Farming in France

Walterp

Member
Location
Pembrokeshire
For all us Francophiles, it'd be hard not to admit a hankering at some time in our lives to go farming in France - big cattle somnambulant in sunlit small prairies, big kit traversing the arable plains of the Paris Basin, and big, cool, stone farmhouses beckoning you in for a salade verte and a glass of something interesting whilst waiting for the sun to cool down.

I've heard Tim Green, one-time FW columnist and farm manager at Conrick Farm in Dumfries (is it for sale now?) talk about his move to Normandy; he didn't seem to regret a single moment of it. It was, so far as I can see, the making of his farming business.

But others can, and do, come back; one of the under-bidders on our home unit recently sold up their farm near Limoges, and seemed relieved to be back in the UK, although the farmer's father still farms out there.

Is it all it's cracked up to be?
 

le bon paysan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Limousin, France
For all us Francophiles, it'd be hard not to admit a hankering at some time in our lives to go farming in France - big cattle somnambulant in sunlit small prairies, big kit traversing the arable plains of the Paris Basin, and big, cool, stone farmhouses beckoning you in for a salade verte and a glass of something interesting whilst waiting for the sun to cool down.

I've heard Tim Green, one-time FW columnist and farm manager at Conrick Farm in Dumfries (is it for sale now?) talk about his move to Normandy; he didn't seem to regret a single moment of it. It was, so far as I can see, the making of his farming business.

But others can, and do, come back; one of the under-bidders on our home unit recently sold up their farm near Limoges, and seemed relieved to be back in the UK, although the farmer's father still farms out there.

Is it all it's cracked up to be?
Yes, love it.
 

le bon paysan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Limousin, France
christ what a question
i could write a book
but in brief
its not what you came out here for, that keeps you here.
oh and yes i love it, but should/could have done it better.
Love my life,my place. 5 more years and it's all mine. Looking out the door with the sun on the cows and calves, just walked the Triticale, kids on their bikes. Great, wouldn't change where I am for UK, no way.
 
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Yes hard going at times and some people can not settle the same as moving to any new country
We love it here and would not go back
 

GenuineRisk

Member
Location
Somerset
I speak pretty good French (especially after a glass or two of Merlot) but I know I still wouldnt be able to get all the subtleties and nuances that we take for granted here when dealing everyday with those around us, so how does it work for you that have made the move ? Were you fluent before you went ? Married to a native speaker ?

It's great that many have made the move successfully but I can quite see why so many move and then come back !
 

will l

Member
Mixed Farmer
I speak pretty good French (especially after a glass or two of Merlot) but I know I still wouldnt be able to get all the subtleties and nuances that we take for granted here when dealing everyday with those around us, so how does it work for you that have made the move ? Were you fluent before you went ? Married to a native speaker ?

It's great that many have made the move successfully but I can quite see why so many move and then come back !
many reasons, whilst farmers have an immediate connection with there neighbours (you are a farmer first and foreigner second)
wives can find it very isolated
often a 100 h farm has only 50 suckler cows because that is all it can economically support and it wasnt being under farmed before
and no it wasnt worth what they paid for it
My wife was pretty good at french before we came
an english farmer once said after 7 years in france i still cant bollock people in french i have to get the children to do it,( a feed rep i think it was)
i dont have that problem,
i will always be english but will probaly never live there again
sorry to tell you most english people need to concentrate on the accent and getting pee'd whilst helping confidence wont help communication
except perhaps with "voulez vous couche avec moi"
 

Niels

Member
What is it with the British wanting to live in France? We get regular tv shows over here from people seeking a place to live (B&B!) in France. Whenever I'm in the UK I hear nothing but 'them bl**dy frogs' and sometimes agree but still it draws you like a big magnet? The most hilarious is when 2 English want to buy a cheapo farm in Southern France, do it up for £1, learn the language in a week and enjoy their REST by starting a B&B. I guess it is what makes these programs so much fun to watch. (the Dutch are just as worse for moving to France mind you!)

Now, if anyone wants to swap places with me i'd be more than happy to move to the UK :D. If I were to pick a place to farm abroad it would be Eastern Europe. Gives you a clean sheet to start with and it's just as warm.
 
I speak pretty good French (especially after a glass or two of Merlot) but I know I still wouldnt be able to get all the subtleties and nuances that we take for granted here when dealing everyday with those around us, so how does it work for you that have made the move ? Were you fluent before you went ? Married to a native speaker ?

It's great that many have made the move successfully but I can quite see why so many move and then come back !

You would be surprised how quickly you pick up the language when your living depends on it. I have been out here 13 years and spoke almost no french when I arrived. Within 6 months of buying the farm I could just about handle a meeting with the bank/accountant/reps etc and after two years I was voted onto the parish council.

What has changed most in those 13 years has been the number of other english speakers that have moved out here. Now our commune is 25% english if you only count the ones who live here all the time, it would be closer to 35% if you count the holiday homes, so you would not exactly be on you own!
 
What is it with the British wanting to live in France? We get regular tv shows over here from people seeking a place to live (B&B!) in France. Whenever I'm in the UK I hear nothing but 'them bl**dy frogs' and sometimes agree but still it draws you like a big magnet? The most hilarious is when 2 English want to buy a cheapo farm in Southern France, do it up for £1, learn the language in a week and enjoy their REST by starting a B&B. I guess it is what makes these programs so much fun to watch. (the Dutch are just as worse for moving to France mind you!)

Now, if anyone wants to swap places with me i'd be more than happy to move to the UK :D. If I were to pick a place to farm abroad it would be Eastern Europe. Gives you a clean sheet to start with and it's just as warm.

The one and only reason I came to france was to buy more hectares than I could afford in the UK, in a country where property rights were well established and I could farm more or less as I did in the UK. When I moved out here eastern europe looked too risky. I did go out to Australia but found the farming too different so we chose France.

We have a sympathetic government here, loyal customers and a generous subsidy system. When I moved out I got a young farmers grant, drainage grants, building grants and cheap finance for stuff like lime. All of these are still available. My area has some of the cheapest land in western europe and as the SAFER is not strong here I can continue to expand if I want to.
 

will l

Member
Mixed Farmer
http://www.safer.fr/
here is the website of the safer
they basically control land prices and see that young farmers get priority over established farmers
i cant say more at the moment about them
markets
durum wheat goes to make pasta or export north african countries arebig buyers
milling wheat export
cattle all sold into paris restaraunt trade
except bulls whichtend to be exported to italy
 

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JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new electronics infrastructure which is claimed to deliver higher levels of performance. According to JCB, the new Fastrac iCon operator environment has three key features: iConfigure – creating a bespoke control experience for every operator iConnect – integrating advanced precision agriculture technology iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software The 175hp to 348hp (133kW to 260kW) Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display to provide flexibility in operator allocation and operator information, as well as a new transmission control strategy to enhance operator comfort and powertrain efficiency, says the manufacturer...
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