Livestock the solution or the problem

Chris123

Member
Location
Shropshire
Not so long ago cows and livestock in general were being blamed for the supposed climate crisis.
Now supposedly farm yard manure is the answer to save the planet do the powers that be even realise where muck comes from I wonder.
Ideal scenario for them would be genetically modified trees that can be housed during winter, somehow magically shiting out some muck.
Can’t make up this stuff seem to flitter between ideas that contradict each other from month to month
 
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kfpben

Member
Location
Mid Hampshire
Neither ‘the problem’ nor ‘the solution’.
Black and white, simplistic thinking is the problem.

However, certainly from a climate perspective manufactured artificial fertiliser is not the solution. Though of course it keeps people affordably fed.

A more sustainable system for the U.K. would be- more livestock in the central areas and East, a bit less in the heavily dairy regions. Quite how the market pays for that is another matter as it runs counter to efficient business practice.
 
Neither ‘the problem’ nor ‘the solution’.
Black and white, simplistic thinking is the problem.

However, certainly from a climate perspective manufactured artificial fertiliser is not the solution. Though of course it keeps people affordably fed.

A more sustainable system for the U.K. would be- more livestock in the central areas and East, a bit less in the heavily dairy regions. Quite how the market pays for that is another matter as it runs counter to efficient business practice.
what is efficient business practice is not necessarily what is best for the long term future of the UK or the environment. I utterly fail to see, how with all the talk of climate change/climate crisis and demonising cows, no one ever wonders if using natural gas (which is a non renewable fossil fuel) to make fertliser is a good idea in the long term, short term it keeps people fed cheaply, so maybe climate change is vitally important provided it doesn't interfere too much with a simple easy cheap lifestyle! All that is without wondering if using artificial fertliser which causes the soil to lose it's organic matter to the atmosphere (so increasing global warming) is a good long term plan.
 
Over stocking is a problem but I don't believe it is possible to be sustainable without livestock. They are a vital link in the natural cycles.
And overstocking is a result of (passive) government policies, that allow the supply chain to screw the primary producers so they have to have economies of scale and the smaller "less efficient" producers are pushed out. Mind you, it's not the "less efficient" producers who are using migrant labour in a modern day slavery in Spain to produce cheap salads.
 

topground

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Somerset.
Over stocking is a problem but I don't believe it is possible to be sustainable without livestock. They are a vital link in the natural cycles.
I understand crop yields at the end of WW2 dropped away due to the reduction in livestock numbers and their manure as every available acre was ploughed.
There will be a similar reduction in yield without bag fertiliser.
Another lesson of history not being learned by current policy makers
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
what is efficient business practice is not necessarily what is best for the long term future of the UK or the environment. I utterly fail to see, how with all the talk of climate change/climate crisis and demonising cows, no one ever wonders if using natural gas (which is a non renewable fossil fuel) to make fertliser is a good idea in the long term, short term it keeps people fed cheaply, so maybe climate change is vitally important provided it doesn't interfere too much with a simple easy cheap lifestyle! All that is without wondering if using artificial fertliser which causes the soil to lose it's organic matter to the atmosphere (so increasing global warming) is a good long term plan.

The more you read, the more perverse it is that a lot of agricultural policy is contrary to what the stated aims are.
 
The more you read, the more perverse it is that a lot of agricultural policy is contrary to what the stated aims are.
what is good for me, is not necessarily what is good for the long term future of the country, so I expect our elected politicians to look out for the long term future of the country, but I read a recent interview with Norman Tebbit where he commented that our present crop of politicians in Parliament seem to be a shower (well I have paraphrased his opinion!).
 

CDavidLance

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon, UK
people are the ultimate problem
The whole business of sustainability and feeding the nation really needs a Royal Commission to pull all the above points together and put conclusions under the noses of the Government ministers and Parliament. It is too big and too complicated for any individual to get their head around everything that needs to be considered. The thinking on this was actually done back in the 1970's, but not enough people were listening.
Livestock has been branded by urban thinkers as a problem and muddled up with climate change. A farmer from North Devon, who was a soil association member, used to tell me that "Those whom God would destroy, he first makes urban minded". Worryingly, our MP's and Ministers are mostly urban minded.
I was answering a comment about having to feed a horse on the Vacuum Silage thread and drew the distinction between the natural Carbon Cycle and the Carbon from Fossil Fuels. Farm Livestock is part of the natural Carbon Cycle and it belongs on the planet. Gas, oil and coal from underground are fossil fuels and belong underground. It is the use of Fossil Fuels that is the threat to climate change, not the natural Carbon Cycle, and therefore not Farm Livestock.
The noise comes from single issue campaigners whose minds are too small to realise that there is more to it than the latest thing they heard at last evening's dinner party. I couldn't agree more that people are the ultimate problem.
Back to basics. Primates need meat in their diet. We are primates. Farm Livestock is how we service that, and that is part of the natural Carbon Cycle that takes in as much Carbon as it gives out and is therefore Carbon Neutral. No problem with Farm Livestock. The worst of the problem is the people that think that Livestock is the problem. They clearly need the bigger picture explained to them.
 
I totally agree, I know fertliser is now very expensive, but more than that, I wonder is it a good idea to dig up fossil fuels to maker fertliser to grow food, I think we need to be looking at how many calories (or joules for the metric) of energy it takes to produce 1 calorie of food, my gut feeling is that regenerative ag is far more efficient, my one issue with organic is having to plough up and reseed pastures to keep them efficient (and every time you plough carbon is liberated from the soil), but a good royal commission is needed to look at this, and the yield reductions from not using fertliser too.
 

CDavidLance

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon, UK
The energy for making fertiliser doesn't have to come from Fossil Fuels. The reason it has done historically is because Fossil Fuels were cheap. The energy can be renewable and the reagents can be recycled. The fertisilser industry just needs to put thinking caps on. It hasn't had to in the past. It does now. Ammonia production only requires energy, air and water. Simples.
The nutrient budget of farms needs to be replenished by recycling what goes off the farm to restore the budget over time. This is mostly bringing back Phosphate and Potash and occasionally trace elements. Nitrogen can be fixed on the farm by legumes (usually Clover) and that is what we did at Yalland when we held the Soil Association Standard. Productivity per acre was up with the best of the Hill Farms without Nitrogen fertilisers.
FYM went out on the silage fields in August to recycle that. With the high rainfall at Yalland (Avr 72 inches) the muck was used best from that time into the autumn and vanished by spring.
Thinking in cycles and budgets is the sustainable approach. Not trying to push things to unsustainable extremes goes with that mindset. Most Rural Minded people know that.
 

CDavidLance

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon, UK
Livestock are the solution.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064083938052

The fact that there are people out there putting out a constant stream of high quality information, presumably off their own backs, just reinforces how utterly sh!t we are as an industry with all of the resources at our disposal.
The NFU should be on the front foot promoting what you have linked in here.
Come to think of it, it would probably be best for the NFU to be asking for the Royal Commission on Farming and Feeding the Nation. The last time this received proper attention was the late 1940's.
 
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primmiemoo

Member
Location
Devon
275910417_1322995754872918_1285353007552696319_n.jpg


A plate from the Livestock Save the Planet page that's going to be shared quite soon! Ta muchly!
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
Govts have to listen to many competing minority pressure groups, none of whom bother to indulge in joined up thinking. They all concentrate on their own little goldfish bowl view of the world and stamp their feet to get their way on one or two issues. The fact they couldn’t give a fekk for the consequences of their enlightened desires is somewhat problematic for those listening to them, especially if they’re in power and have one or two more things to think about alongside.

I have never in my lifetime witnessed what’s going on now in this country and around the world. Human knowledge, experience and quality science is being chucked in the bin by politicians and the media, both of whom are desperate to pander to the pressure groups that shout the loudest. Junk science and fake news is now the holy grail. The human race is in a rapidly accelerating death spiral.
 

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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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