Is anyone in beef and sheep willing to invest money?

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
So this is the question.

Up until a few years ago a few grand on a shed or a sheep pen or even some shiny new equipment to make the jobs easier would be tempting to improve efficiency or at least a bit of expansion to help turnover.However I’m feeling more and more that I can’t see the reasoning in spending a chunk of money at all on anything big to maybe improve farm capacity/output.

The food industry in general only seem to want the cheapest food and will source it from anywhere even if it is a factory producing fungal slime.

In fact the only way forward I’m seeing is reducing investment and reducing costs and importantly also reducing output.

Apart from the dairy industry which seems to be doing quite well what are other people’s thoughts?
 

Fendt65

Member
I always used to put a percentage of my sfp into equipment to make my life easier,but now just not sure where its all going. Thinking of going more grass based self sufficient and not relying on to much bought in,only have about 150 cattle anyway. Also looking at alternatives to farming never thought I would ever do that!
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Buying assets which depreciate the least is safer, ie livestock box or alloy yards etc - secondhands arnt much less than new.
this is all farm/person/area specific. There’s so many roads/cars around here you can’t move anything half a mile just up the road you need loads of people involved, buying the livestock box has made that easier. Hurdles did ok as a stop gap but more land/more animal’s and future proofing meant the alloy yard arrived.
changing sheep’s winter diets from cereals/concentrates to root crops/green crop now means they are building fertility in the soil and having far less health issues with no negative impact, labour has reduced from 4/5 hours a day feeding cereals/bales and having stressed ewes running for the cereals to ewes happily grazing spending most of the day laying down eating green crop and now taking an average of 2hr’s a day with double the number of ewes compared to when feeding cereals. I have small fields so loads of small mobs but putting more ewes per mob would make it quicker moving/checking fences.

At the end of the day it’s about what works for you though and what you want to do/achieve plus a bit of age?- doing big projects/investments or big changes when the higher side of 50 with no followers may not be wise financially but on the lower side of 50 there’s still scope to do a big investment if needed and possibly rectify it if it does go pear shaped?
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thought you bought a new baler? :unsure:
There’s a difference between buying something and paying for it........:p

I‘m all into things which make my life easier.(y)

The basic question is changing the mindset of expanding numbers to increase profit. We know this rarely works.

Problem is getting over the psychological issue of making the business smaller but more profitable with less work.

I certainly don’t want to have to employ anyone.(n)
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
There’s a difference between buying something and paying for it........:p

I‘m all into things which make my life easier.(y)

The basic question is changing the mindset of expanding numbers to increase profit. We know this rarely works.

Problem is getting over the psychological issue of making the business smaller but more profitable with less work.

I certainly don’t want to have to employ anyone.(n)
Think our hands are going to be forced on that one.

As our business becomes less profitable it makes sense to make it smaller and cut overheads.

Will see what happens this year. Will put same amount of cows to bull in springtime.

Cutting back on replacements already.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Think our hands are going to be forced on that one.

As our business becomes less profitable it makes sense to make it smaller and cut overheads.

Will see what happens this year. Will put same amount of cows to bull in springtime.

Cutting back on replacements already.
Bottom line is I could rent the farm out and make more profit.......that bugs me...but then I think ‘aah the tax man would get me’.:bag::lurking::woot:
 

Dog Bowl

Member
Location
Cotswolds
My main investment revolves around my grassland - bespoke, diverse mixtures for targeting 100% forage based diets. I see this as my main driver to a more profitable farming system. I am fed up of lining the pockets of feed companies.

Investing in better handling facilities and small tweaks to make the system more efficient and help to create a better work/life balance for me.

Bought my own cattle trailer to enable me to graze smaller groups of cows and calves in different blocks as opposed to getting a haulier in to move all cattle to one grazing block. Thus increasing my grazing platform.
 

Pebd99

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Sheds are always an asset that doesn’t really depreciate and much the same with well made handling facilities. Those are probably the biggest investments into cattle or sheep as one big hit other than buying land. If you’ve put sheds up then it’s always something extra for the pension fund when selling up if nothing else.

Just making our own handling setup for cattle just now. It’s replacing an outdated setup and will hopefully mean that I can work the cattle myself without taking in help to do them which adds up over time.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Sheds are always an asset that doesn’t really depreciate and much the same with well made handling facilities. Those are probably the biggest investments into cattle or sheep as one big hit other than buying land. If you’ve put sheds up then it’s always something extra for the pension fund when selling up if nothing else.

Just making our own handling setup for cattle just now. It’s replacing an outdated setup and will hopefully mean that I can work the cattle myself without taking in help to do them which adds up over time.
I don’t disagree,I’ve done my fair share of building sheds from scratch however it’s the issue of investing to produce a commodity which saps the business rather than improving profitability.

I just can’t see where large investments would return.

I‘d love a new good sized sheep shed (very unfashionable),but it seems keeping a lid on numbers or even reducing would be better for the bottom line with the uncertainty of ruminant meat in the future.
 

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123: The Transition to Responsibly Sourced Growing Media in UK Horticulture

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123: The Transition to Responsibly Sourced Growing Media in UK Horticulture

Written by AHDB

Wayne Brough, AHDB's Knowledge Exchange Manager for Ornamentals, talks to Neil Bragg of Substrate Associates, Chloe Whiteside of ADAS and Steve Carter of Tristram Plants about the transition to responsibly sourced growing media.

They chart the history of the move to peat-free growing media, the...
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