How does feed for livestock affect those commodity prices?

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I assume that livestock farming has its origins in being able to convert the non-edible plants into food, to make efficient use of summer surpluses and be a food supply in winter and to eat any waste while their waste had many uses.
I recently asked my feed supplier how much of the concentrate could be considered 'waste products' and they thought it would be well over 80%.
So are livestock subsidising the 'human' food?
Does the livestock feed market put a 'bottom in the market' and guarantee a home for poor quality crops?
If so, will the determined effort by many to reduce livestock numbers mean higher food prices, less resilience and increased dependence on artificial inputs?
 
If the price of wheat and barley goes up 50% then the price of substitute feeds will go up as well.

No different from working out how much to pay for (say) fodder beet based on the price of rolled barely.

I think the OPs point is , what would be done with certain products such as biscuit meal or confectionery waste if it didn’t go into animal feed ? It would be a waste product with a disposal cost.
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
...but does a digester stack up financially if no government subsidy? Take away the government sub, then calculate what the digesters can afford to pay.

Presumably biscuit meal type products will be of use to digesters, whereas I'd guess the higher protein feeds such as distiller's grains won't be of much value to a digester. That said, don't the distilleries now have digesters at their sites??
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I think the OPs point is , what would be done with certain products such as biscuit meal or confectionery waste if it didn’t go into animal feed ? It would be a waste product with a disposal cost.

That's definitely part of my genuine question due to my obvious ignorance on this.

Looking at my last feed ticket, it includes beet pulp, wheat gluten, distillers grains and soya hulls. I guess these are products left over after being processed.

Given it costs over £300 / ton, the processors must be getting back a reasonable percentage of the cost of the original product.

Do AD plants pay the full market rate for these items?

If a mill pays £260 for wheat and recoups half by selling the wheat feed, that is potentially halving their costs?

I'm also interested in how arable farmers see growing crops with respect to supplying animal feeds.
 

thesilentone

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cumbria
That's definitely part of my genuine question due to my obvious ignorance on this.

Looking at my last feed ticket, it includes beet pulp, wheat gluten, distillers grains and soya hulls. I guess these are products left over after being processed.

Given it costs over £300 / ton, the processors must be getting back a reasonable percentage of the cost of the original product.

Do AD plants pay the full market rate for these items?

If a mill pays £260 for wheat and recoups half by selling the wheat feed, that is potentially halving their costs?

I'm also interested in how arable farmers see growing crops with respect to supplying animal feeds.
Interesting debate, all driven by supply and demand at the moment.

AD likes dry matter, and some products, be it crop or waste produce more methane per m3/ton.

The competition is two fold, one is for the raw material (input) one is for the product (output) and which gives the best return.

At the moment, AD has several advantages, however we can't eat energy.

The ideal solution is for the feed supplier to use their own waste to produce energy for the mill.

A detailed life cycle analysis needs to carried on both, and a fair comparison made, as the argument is not as simple a food v fuel, which you have highlighted.

At the moment, the highest bidder wins.
 

Nessie

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Scotland
...but does a digester stack up financially if no government subsidy? Take away the government sub, then calculate what the digesters can afford to pay.

Presumably biscuit meal type products will be of use to digesters, whereas I'd guess the higher protein feeds such as distiller's grains won't be of much value to a digester. That said, don't the distilleries now have digesters at their sites??
Does livestock farming stack up financially if no government subsidy...?
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Does livestock farming stack up financially if no government subsidy...?
We are going to find out in the next few years.
That is what led me to ask the question. A considerable reduction in livestock numbers could result in a load of unintended consequences.
Would the AD plants deal with 50% of the feeds and straw currently used by livestock?

What would be the environmental affect of this?

How would this change the decision making of arable farmers?
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
I assume that livestock farming has its origins in being able to convert the non-edible plants into food, to make efficient use of summer surpluses and be a food supply in winter and to eat any waste while their waste had many uses.
I recently asked my feed supplier how much of the concentrate could be considered 'waste products' and they thought it would be well over 80%.
So are livestock subsidising the 'human' food?
Does the livestock feed market put a 'bottom in the market' and guarantee a home for poor quality crops?
If so, will the determined effort by many to reduce livestock numbers mean higher food prices, less resilience and increased dependence on artificial inputs?
Livestock farming must help the economics of some foodstuffs. e.g. rapeseed meal as a feed must help make rapeseed oil less expensive than if there was no economic use for the meal.

All the 'wastes', expeller, meals, hulls, distiller's grains etc. that become livestock feeds must presumably enter that market because that market is paying the highest price for them. I guess someone could use xxxhulls in a burner/boiler as fuel, but livestock feed must pay the best price.

Hence I conclude livestock farming's byproduct demand keeps the human food proportion of the grain/oilseed/xxx at a less expensive price point than if livestock did not exist.

Does livestock farming stack up financially if no government subsidy...?
Hadn't thought of that angle.

Pigs and poultry seem to survive, but looking in I'd guess it's a bumpy financial ride. And their feed grain is arguably subsidised to a degree.

Theoretically BPS is delinked from production, but in practice I imagine most use the subsidy to support the farm business/income.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hadn't thought of that angle.

Pigs and poultry seem to survive, but looking in I'd guess it's a bumpy financial ride. And their feed grain is arguably subsidised to a degree.

Theoretically BPS is delinked from production, but in practice I imagine most use the subsidy to support the farm business/income.
And there lies the problem.....
 

thesilentone

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cumbria
Livestock farming must help the economics of some foodstuffs. e.g. rapeseed meal as a feed must help make rapeseed oil less expensive than if there was no economic use for the meal.

All the 'wastes', expeller, meals, hulls, distiller's grains etc. that become livestock feeds must presumably enter that market because that market is paying the highest price for them. I guess someone could use xxxhulls in a burner/boiler as fuel, but livestock feed must pay the best price.

Hence I conclude livestock farming's byproduct demand keeps the human food proportion of the grain/oilseed/xxx at a less expensive price point than if livestock did not exist.


Hadn't thought of that angle.

Pigs and poultry seem to survive, but looking in I'd guess it's a bumpy financial ride. And their feed grain is arguably subsidised to a degree.

Theoretically BPS is delinked from production, but in practice I imagine most use the subsidy to support the farm business/income.
Maybe a hierarchy is required ?

Cattle/Livestock can eat the bi-product of food manufacturing, AD can use the bi-product of the cattle/livestock industry, such as manures, slurry, cat 3 and some cat 2 slaughter house bi-product. ?

All the nutrient returned to it's point of origin.
 

Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
Maybe a hierarchy is required ?

Cattle/Livestock can eat the bi-product of food manufacturing, AD can use the bi-product of the cattle/livestock industry, such as manures, slurry, cat 3 and some cat 2 slaughter house bi-product. ?

All the nutrient returned to it's point of origin.
Too much perfectly logical reasoning!!!

Common sense suggestions like that would get thwarted by either HM Government, Environment Agent or Red Tractor 🤣
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I think alot of sub gets wasted tbh and suppliers will probably miss the subsidy via the farmer more than the farmer will miss it. Alot of sub is only borrowed until its paid back in tax too.

I would say I probably use my BPS to buy feed and fertiliser so that I can keep enough stock to stay in business.
I will be reducing both by at least 80% this year by halving stocking rates.
I should be able to at least double my margins so should be better off.
If all livestock farmers did this, I wonder what would happen?

Meat and dairy would get more expensive.

If all the food processing waste went to AD plants for free rather than sold for feed, the price of food would go up even if grains didn't.

According to @Sid ;

"But the cost only the wheat in a loaf of bread is marginal.
£200/t a 500g loaf has 10p of wheat
£400/t a 500g loaf has 20p of wheat"

The effective cost of that wheat would double.
 

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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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