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

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Brother and I were going to look at a very average 150 hp 11 year old tractor to upgrade our fleet. £42,000. We stopped for a coffee halfway there, turned round and came home again. We will just have to make do for another year which will ironically mean ploughing everything as it actually requires less horsepower than any sort of min till cultivator. "Upgraded" our sprayer from SP to trailer recently. Its the one thing that is critical to our operation and we can't manage without it. That's all we can afford this year. Machinery prices are crazy.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Other than a few large intensive livestock enterprises, every operation round here, large and small, seems to work on self employed labour on an "as and when necessary" basis. Sadly the full time farm worker died out in the mid 1980's other than core staff/working farm managers on large estates. The farm manager on 6000 acres and his assistant/gamekeeper/handyman are the only full time employees. Everything else is done by contractors, self employed casuals or students at harvest. Then there are the one or two man family farms relying on family labour. That's about it.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
There just isn't enough slack in the job. But I think it's similar in many other industries. Zero hours contracts etc. Offer them your services on a self employed basis and they snap your hand off.
 
Another issue is that many schools push for students to go to university and get a degree. Become the manager and not the worker. It doesnt look good on their prospectus a large proportion of students getting trades but looks better when they can show off how many were accepted to cambridge or oxford. My school took no more interest in me when I said I wasnt doing a levels. I was asked, why would you want to leave school at 16?
 
Another issue is that many schools push for students to go to university and get a degree. Become the manager and not the worker. It doesnt look good on their prospectus a large proportion of students getting trades but looks better when they can show off how many were accepted to cambridge or oxford. My school took no more interest in me when I said I wasnt doing a levels. I was asked, why would you want to leave school at 16?
Is it our generations fault there seems so many young ones who don't actually seem to want to graft and presumably sit with there face in a screen all day and yes our industry doesn't generate enough income
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I think tightening down and lowering labour inputs to allow a one man band is the answer combined with working with a neighbour for holiday and peak times.
Thats the way I've always approached it, but as I get older the amount this "1 man band" can do is decreasing. Plus time off is hard if you don't have anyone familiar with your set up.
 
Is it our generations fault there seems so many young ones who don't actually seem to want to graft and presumably sit with there face in a screen all day and yes our industry doesn't generate enough income
I'm only 23 so I have a good idea what schools is currently like. I was told theres money and a future in IT, law, medicine etc. Sparking, plumping and the likes, just are NOT talked about let alone encouraged. Many young people want to be so called influencers on YouTube, instagram or tik tok or aspire to have that type of lifestyle rather than grafting
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
I'm only 23 so I have a good idea what schools is currently like. I was told theres money and a future in IT, law, medicine etc. Sparking, plumping and the likes, just are NOT talked about let alone encouraged. Many young people want to be so called influencers on YouTube, instagram or tik tok or aspire to have that type of lifestyle rather than grafting
IT, law and medicine tasks will be replaced by machines far sooner that sparking and plumping jobs!
 

Cowcorn

Member
Mixed Farmer
Brother and I were going to look at a very average 150 hp 11 year old tractor to upgrade our fleet. £42,000. We stopped for a coffee halfway there, turned round and came home again. We will just have to make do for another year which will ironically mean ploughing everything as it actually requires less horsepower than any sort of min till cultivator. "Upgraded" our sprayer from SP to trailer recently. Its the one thing that is critical to our operation and we can't manage without it. That's all we can afford this year. Machinery prices are crazy.
Had a notion that maybe i needed a better prime mover myself even though all the tractors i currently have are still well capable of covering the workload
Anyway while collecting a few service items for the 6290 at the local MF dealers my son decided that he was buying a 2013 7618 and i was going to pay for it is!!!
60 000 euros inc the vat and 5000 genuine hours . Exclusive spec with all the bells and whistles, a tractor for the playstation generation.
Low rate finance and what could possibly go wrong ??
Its here now and do you know what its a beauty and very comfortable and hopefully will be reliable .
But its current milkprices that will pay for it . Cereals on my acreage even at high yields would pay for shag all unlike years ago when a couple of hundred acres of barley would keep you in clover :)
This is the first tractor that we have bought since 02 and also the first that breaks my fathers advice of "Always buy new if you have money jassus the will keep going when you havent a happenny after a bad year " Sadly the days of new for smaller farmers are long gone .
 

icanshootwell

Member
Location
Ross-on-wye
Iam fairly sure iam well on the ball with costings and our pricing. We're certainly not working for nothing, but machinery prices go up faster than the job can stand for everyone to make a living. End of the day, if theres no customers, there's no work.
Ive just been quoted £120k to change from a 11 year old machine, to a 5 year old. To essentially do the exact same job. The margins are gettin too thin.
Self propelled chopper is it!! cut throat around here, everyone's after the same grass.
 

Bogweevil

Member
IT, law and medicine tasks will be replaced by machines far sooner that sparking and plumping jobs!
I wish I had never become an influencer - it won't last. Even influencers will be replaced by artificial intelligence, androids and digital manipulation - lock-smithing - that strikes me as a good trade.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Brother and I were going to look at a very average 150 hp 11 year old tractor to upgrade our fleet. £42,000. We stopped for a coffee halfway there, turned round and came home again. We will just have to make do for another year which will ironically mean ploughing everything as it actually requires less horsepower than any sort of min till cultivator. "Upgraded" our sprayer from SP to trailer recently. Its the one thing that is critical to our operation and we can't manage without it. That's all we can afford this year. Machinery prices are crazy.
The irony there is that min til needs a bigger tractor than ploughing
 
Just had a good young lad leave. Turned 21 and decided to go off to be a Carpenter.
We had put him through various tests, Trailer, Chainsaw etc.
Was well paid, last full year almost £24k, probably averaged 45 hours a week, but plenty of time off in the winter.
If it doesn't work out for him I have said he can come back anytime, however I fear it is unlikely.

Do have a young lad who is going to College but really need someone with more skills to take the pressure off everyone else. Not many livestock contractors, but at least we don't have to buy expensive pieces of kit!
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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