The on-going up hill battle that is agriculture.....

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Average life expectancy has risen from 72 in 1970 to around 82 today, I wonder how cancer rates compare? Is it that we are living longer or that they are better at detecting them now? Diet and lifestyle I think contribute.

Cancer is a disease of age. The longer you live, the greater your chance of contracting it. Now that chance will vary from person to person, some will be more genetically prone to it than others, but everyone's risk rises with age. Its simple mathematics - cancers occur when a cell divides and copies itself but gets it wrong, and the new cell is cancerous. As people who live longer will experience more cell divisions over their lifetime the chances one will be cancerous rise with age.

There was a massive study done a few years ago that concluded that the vast majority of cancers were caused by us living longer rather than lifestyle or diet. There were a few obvious exclusions to that, smoking and lung cancer being the most clear cut.

 

puntabrava

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I’m likely going to get shot down here, but hey ho!!

I had two very interesting conversations last week.
One along the lines of this thread.

“I’ve got 500+ acres, it’s a millstone round my neck, can’t make it pay even with no mortgage or rent, rising costs, falling prices. Not made any money for several years, never get time off, can’t afford to employ anyone “

The second was with a customer I first met 25 years ago. He had just set out contract farming then. He’s worked hard and now has maybe a dozen clients, mostly arable but there’s a sheep enterprise in the mix too. We were having a general chat and I said to him “Go on then, I know you’ll tell me the truth, is there any money in the job?”.

He answered with an immediate “Oh Christ yeah!! I’ve never lost money, not once for any client. Even when we had to mow over 20% of (named farmer) acreage due to blackgrass infestation still made him a small profit”.

So go on, all tell me please, is there money being made where you are?

Don’t shoot the messenger please. It’s just I can’t see how the two could be so different. The two farmers are close to each other and know each other. I obviously haven’t told them each other’s business. They are on very similar ground and farm in similar ways, both quite progressive.

Is it just mindset?

I feel I ought to tell the owner occupier to call the contract farmer and have a chat!
For me it sums up the way things will go leading up to the end of subsidy, for your man with 500 acres you will be able to insert a one in front of it, the contract farming boys will be overwhelmed with acres offered.
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
I’m likely going to get shot down here, but hey ho!!

I had two very interesting conversations last week.
One along the lines of this thread.

“I’ve got 500+ acres, it’s a millstone round my neck, can’t make it pay even with no mortgage or rent, rising costs, falling prices. Not made any money for several years, never get time off, can’t afford to employ anyone “

The second was with a customer I first met 25 years ago. He had just set out contract farming then. He’s worked hard and now has maybe a dozen clients, mostly arable but there’s a sheep enterprise in the mix too. We were having a general chat and I said to him “Go on then, I know you’ll tell me the truth, is there any money in the job?”.

He answered with an immediate “Oh Christ yeah!! I’ve never lost money, not once for any client. Even when we had to mow over 20% of (named farmer) acreage due to blackgrass infestation still made him a small profit”.

So go on, all tell me please, is there money being made where you are?

Don’t shoot the messenger please. It’s just I can’t see how the two could be so different. The two farmers are close to each other and know each other. I obviously haven’t told them each other’s business. They are on very similar ground and farm in similar ways, both quite progressive.

Is it just mindset?

I feel I ought to tell the owner occupier to call the contract farmer and have a chat!

Get your son into the 500 acre place! Show them how it's done.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
How can anyone be quoting poor returns with the current prices?? £200 per tonne for wheat this year and yield should be 👍
I’ve said it before. The price of wheat is better and that’s welcome (while it lasts) but relative to the rise in input costs and machinery it just isn’t keeping pace. It’s also more difficult to grow having lost OSR as the break.
I’d say machinery prices have quadrupled over the last 20 years but wheat certainly hasn’t. There is this ever narrowing differential between commodity prices and cost of production. Shrinking profits in other words, where either massive scale or a gradual rundown to retirement is the only way forward. I’m not too despondent about it as we have always ducked and dived on a small farm to keep going and will continue to do so. But if we had to pay people and if we had enough land to wear machinery out quickly then I’d be concerned.
 

Hilly

Member
For me it sums up the way things will go leading up to the end of subsidy, for your man with 500 acres you will be able to insert a one in front of it, the contract farming boys will be overwhelmed with acres offered.
Easy decision with all arable , bit tricky with livestock. Best get yourself a couple Lexions on order !!
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Most of the nice smaller older easy to repair arable kit has either been exported or is completely knackered. The post year 2000 machinery is mostly too big and isn’t easily sorted out in our workshop especially if it relies on electronics of some sort that in turn relies on a now obsolete programme on an EEPROM. That’s a bit of a difficulty for us smaller arable operators. New kit is completely unaffordable.
I am actually considering going back to 12m tramlines to see us through to retirement as the kit is just so much easier to work on, cheaper to maintain and treads more lightly in more ways than one. The best sprayer we ever had was the Chaviot on 12 m. Everything we have had since at 24 m has been a heavy slow lumbering money pit but hey ho.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I bought a “modern” secondhand trailed sprayer fairly cheap as I need a project. It’s OK, needs some welding etc but:
Relies on a computer or electronics even to fold the boom.
Has no mechanical pressure gauge.
Has a bank of 8 hand valves and a look up table to get the right configuration for filling, agitating, spraying etc. Blows my mind really, particularly as the PTO has to be switched on or off between changing modes.
The other day the computer came up with an alarm to say battery low. Rang the agent. “You need to change the battery on the circuit board quickly otherwise you will lose all the settings and the display will revert to French.” Zut Alors! Anyway found a battery at Tesco’s smaller than my finger end. Box apart, very fiddly, got new battery in, all back together without crushing or getting a lump of mud on any of the dainty electronics inside.. lo and behold alarm still comes up. Raved it apart again took battery out realised there was a small sticker on it saying “do not feed to babies.” Hadn’t seen it without my glasses. Removed sticker, Battery back in, all back together refitted in cab and all is good , no alarm, but my goodness what a rave. Read the manual about three times in bed the other night and I think I can just about work out how to set it to a constant 3 bar that’s if the electronic pressure gauge isn’t telling lies which I’ve no way of knowing. The machine itself weighs nearly 3 tonnes empty and 6 tonnes full. So it won’t be doing much between October and March here. I know what will happen one day. I’ll get to a field with £2k of chemicals in the tank and the computer will die and I won’t even be able to unfold the booms. That’s progress for you.
 
I bought a “modern” secondhand trailed sprayer fairly cheap as I need a project. It’s OK, needs some welding etc but:
Relies on a computer or electronics even to fold the boom.
Has no mechanical pressure gauge.
Has a bank of 8 hand valves and a look up table to get the right configuration for filling, agitating, spraying etc. Blows my mind really, particularly as the PTO has to be switched on or off between changing modes.
The other day the computer came up with an alarm to say battery low. Rang the agent. “You need to change the battery on the circuit board quickly otherwise you will lose all the settings and the display will revert to French.” Zut Alors! Anyway found a battery at Tesco’s smaller than my finger end. Box apart, very fiddly, got new battery in, all back together without crushing or getting a lump of mud on any of the dainty electronics inside.. lo and behold alarm still comes up. Raved it apart again took battery out realised there was a small sticker on it saying “do not feed to babies.” Hadn’t seen it without my glasses. Removed sticker, Battery back in, all back together refitted in cab and all is good , no alarm, but my goodness what a rave. Read the manual about three times in bed the other night and I think I can just about work out how to set it to a constant 3 bar that’s if the electronic pressure gauge isn’t telling lies which I’ve no way of knowing. The machine itself weighs nearly 3 tonnes empty and 6 tonnes full. So it won’t be doing much between October and March here. I know what will happen one day. I’ll get to a field with £2k of chemicals in the tank and the computer will die and I won’t even be able to unfold the booms. That’s progress for you.
Surely you could have found a sprayer for a couple of hundred acres that doesn’t rely on electronics.
You might have to pay a bit more for summat simple that ain’t going to cost a fortune in repairs though 😜
Maybe the techno one was cheap for a reason, the running costs ain’t likely to be cheap
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

  • 17,206
  • 128
Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
Top