Organic just not paying

Im struggling to find any organic groups on FB/net. Wondering if there is anything where you can have a chat/moan? With the hike in organic feeds for the inlamb ewes, lick bucket costs etc. Not getting the return on the stock. Lambs go as conventional (only a small flock left) and 35 suckler cows.

Grass fed angus x just not getting the return. No longer interested in finishing due to costs and being shafted too many times. So these will go at weaning. Could do with investing in sheep but pricing it up wonder if worth bothering.

Obv for us organic is important so is GM free. If we drop the SA certification and keep to our principals is that a better option? Still have the issue of ewe nuts/layers etc. All laid to grass. So the paperwork for the SA isnt difficult. Thinking long term now the demand for organic is prob stable but the buyers are generally the main abbattoirs so the prices are in essence the same as conventional but our costs are higher.

Talking to the accountant yesterday and seems to be high turnover are the farms making the money. Another option is also to take the stock down to the bare min but not interested in renting out the farm (been there done that). So what happens to the farm if we go down to a small holding size stock.

Our main income now is construction (quiet at mo) but our love is the farm so we are torn really.

Looking at option/opinions and advice really. Any investment needs to have a good return.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
I thought there was a fair trade for organic weaned calves? I'm surprised by many things in the OP, like your accountant suggesting high turnover farms are making 'the' money. My accountant would say that they are the ones turning over the money (usually to someone else). What are the costs associated with grass fed finishing? Who's doing the shafting? There are more and more markets opening up for grass fed stock now. Can you not finish lambs without nuts?
Sorry, asking questions, not giving advice!
 
Martian - The nuts are for the ewes. I also had a lot of lambs not finishing well and need feeding up too. Some of the pastures are tired but the cost of ploughing up and reseeding cant justify our flagging profit margin. Paid for liming last year. You say the markets are opening up for grass fed but not seeing it who is buying as already done the direct sell and that became a hole. Ive contacted a few organic buyers and they are only paying the same as conventional just that few pence extra (doesnt cover costs). When they say they are buying its all erratic and then say they dont need them. I took organic grass fed to a christmas mart Christmas before last and sold just under £1k each which was heart breaking to be honest. The issue is angus is a quality beef animal without the size or [email protected]

I expect I will be able to sell the calves but not at the value thats really profitable. Taking into account the dams costs. food and straw.
 

N.Yorks.

Member
Martian - The nuts are for the ewes. I also had a lot of lambs not finishing well and need feeding up too. Some of the pastures are tired but the cost of ploughing up and reseeding cant justify our flagging profit margin. Paid for liming last year. You say the markets are opening up for grass fed but not seeing it who is buying as already done the direct sell and that became a hole. Ive contacted a few organic buyers and they are only paying the same as conventional just that few pence extra (doesnt cover costs). When they say they are buying its all erratic and then say they dont need them. I took organic grass fed to a christmas mart Christmas before last and sold just under £1k each which was heart breaking to be honest. The issue is angus is a quality beef animal without the size or [email protected]

I expect I will be able to sell the calves but not at the value thats really profitable. Taking into account the dams costs. food and straw.
There was a thread earlier in the week about a guy who sold beef direct to locals (think via Facebook), surely that's the way forward on your scale? Get it butchered into boxes and into customers freezers.....
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
For me it’s about the whole farm system. We don’t see any premium for beef and lamb but to be fair don’t hunt for it. Cattle seem to sell best as strong stores rather than finished. Cull cows go through the farms commercial kitchen (a niche diversification enterprise). People grossly underestimate the quality and flavour of older animals IMO.
Sheep are grass fed to keep costs down but we do grow our own oats to top up finishing lambs or supplement ewes if necessary. These form part of our rotation, often being undersown.
What’s made a difference to us is organic veg, again a rather niche and high risk enterprise but we’re fortunate to have a local outlet. This has transformed the benefit of the cattle dung to increase fertility for veg crops.
Overall my aim is for each enterprise to compliment or benefit other ones, spread the risks and the labour demand.
Had it not been for the veg, we’d have probably have farmed to organic principles without the costs of certification once our organic HLS finished. If organic farming isn’t rewarded under ELMS more are likely to go down this route I suspect.
 

onesiedale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Derbyshire
Im struggling to find any organic groups on FB/net. Wondering if there is anything where you can have a chat/moan? With the hike in organic feeds for the inlamb ewes, lick bucket costs etc. Not getting the return on the stock. Lambs go as conventional (only a small flock left) and 35 suckler cows.

Grass fed angus x just not getting the return. No longer interested in finishing due to costs and being shafted too many times. So these will go at weaning. Could do with investing in sheep but pricing it up wonder if worth bothering.

Obv for us organic is important so is GM free. If we drop the SA certification and keep to our principals is that a better option? Still have the issue of ewe nuts/layers etc. All laid to grass. So the paperwork for the SA isnt difficult. Thinking long term now the demand for organic is prob stable but the buyers are generally the main abbattoirs so the prices are in essence the same as conventional but our costs are higher.

Talking to the accountant yesterday and seems to be high turnover are the farms making the money. Another option is also to take the stock down to the bare min but not interested in renting out the farm (been there done that). So what happens to the farm if we go down to a small holding size stock.

Our main income now is construction (quiet at mo) but our love is the farm so we are torn really.

Looking at option/opinions and advice really. Any investment needs to have a good return.
look at grass fed and adding value by direct selling
 

Treg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
Base price down here for conventional UTM is 408p/kg , Organic 485p/kg that's a fair bonus . I know lambs are a different matter a a smaller bonus .
Although out of your area have a chat with CQLP as I know they deal with abattoirs throughout the country and maybe able to offer you advice, or OLMC , I've not dealt with them but their always sending me letters for stock.
 

Rob D

Member
Location
Devon
If there’s anyone looking to sell there organic lambs or want to send them away to be finished on a management fee organically as there certainly is a premium at the moment contact me
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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