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

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
Its funny how staff are short for some jobs and not others. Talking to someone in the UK the other day and their daughter is looking for work. All entry level stuff but she applied at KFC for a job that was paying feck all. When she didn't get it she called to ask if there was anything she could learn from her failed interview. No you were fine was the response but we had over 70 applicants, you just weren't the top one.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Doyou still do your own silage, no point intended, just Interested as not many do their own now
Bit of a mix and match. I get the contractor in with forager every time. If time is short for the acreage, mainly first cut, may get him in with mower to help. Depending on distance, may use contracto to help haul, but manly for half a day if local pit is full.
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
More money elsewhere for less work, if your not from a farming background, wouldnt be too attractive. Wont pay for the iPhone 12, netflix, prime, car, fuel etc.
I wouldn’t agree with that. We have all that and more all off ag. Plus you can earn a lot more money because you can get the hours in. Building seems good money an hour but the are off work a hell of a lot.
 
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ColinV6

Member
I have a few very good non Ag mates, plasterer, mechanic with his own garage, building trade supplier manager, and I don’t think any of them would swap their working lifestyle for mine.

I see them doing quite nicely in life without the 4:15am weekend starts, without having to work bank holidays and Christmas time, having 7 weeks holiday a year. They also have the huge advantage in their respective trades of being able to pass increasing costs on to their customers. This is, I think Ag’s biggest downfall. If our costs increase we can’t do anything about it.

If my mechanic friend has to fit a fancy new ramp to keep his business up to standard I guess he just sticks a bit extra onto every basic service or part price. We can’t ring arla and say, listen boys we need a new shed, so unfortunately we will have to increase our milk sale price to 45ppl for the next year’s till we get it paid off.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
I have a few very good non Ag mates, plasterer, mechanic with his own garage, building trade supplier manager, and I don’t think any of them would swap their working lifestyle for mine.

I see them doing quite nicely in life without the 4:15am weekend starts, without having to work bank holidays and Christmas time, having 7 weeks holiday a year. They also have the huge advantage in their respective trades of being able to pass increasing costs on to their customers. This is, I think Ag’s biggest downfall. If our costs increase we can’t do anything about it.

If my mechanic friend has to fit a fancy new ramp to keep his business up to standard I guess he just sticks a bit extra onto every basic service or part price. We can’t ring arla and say, listen boys we need a new shed, so unfortunately we will have to increase our milk sale price to 45ppl for the next year’s till we get it paid off.
You're producing an internationally traded commodity. He's providing a local service. The 2 are not comparable.

But he still operates within a marketplace
 

ColinV6

Member
You're producing an internationally traded commodity. He's providing a local service. The 2 are not comparable.

But

But why should it be so, that all the milk processors want higher and higher standards, which all incur costs, sometimes big costs and the only way we can realistically do it is to get into the endless spiral with the bank. Surely the produce we all strive so hard to get as nice a quality as we can for them, should provide enough profit to then improve the infastructure further.

Or at the very least, a shiny new Fendt:ROFLMAO:
 

bluebell

Member
yes i can see that a good selfemployed handiman? can earn reasonable money ? but working in a warehouse on minimum wages, or running round like a blue arshed fly delivering boxes parcels ordered from the internet ? all this talk of a green revolution creating thousands of jobs ? do we really then need these jobs or is yet for more immigration ?
 

Bogweevil

Member
The cost of doing business in a low margin sector that primarily sells commodities under constant price pressure is nonetheless high and divorced from commodity prices. Basically many farmers are marginally viable at best and contractors seldom can charge enough to cover modern high and ever higher capacity equipment needed to reduce labour per unit of output, plus that labour at a wage that makes it attractive to attract able, competent and ambitious young people. The starting wage for skilled high quality operators should be around the £28,000 mark and with overtime and bonuses for long hours and a high standard of competence they should be taking home between £35k and £40k per year before tax. But they are not, because we can't afford it. Because we do not control the price of the goods we sell. We are price takers not price setters.
The best will tend to find plenty of work where the reward is much higher than in agriculture, such as in a trade. Otherwise they will try to farm themselves in some cases.

EDIT

I was about an hour between composing the above and posting it due to work, and I see others have made broadly the same point about other work opportunities and the relative income and hours.

Perhaps the answer for some farmers is to pool resources and achieve some economies of scale and allow the partners more time off - sacrifice of some independence, issues of trust and communication, but when the devil is at the door...
 

bluebell

Member
food or product produced by farmers will only rise in price to make it alot more profitable, if theirs a shortage, supply and demand or govt brings back the national boards such as the milk marketing boards, neither has yet happened, surprising really as the worlds population grows by millions a day ?
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Perhaps the answer for some farmers is to pool resources and achieve some economies of scale and allow the partners more time off - sacrifice of some independence, issues of trust and communication, but when the devil is at the door...
That’s been mentioned ever since I can remember. There is no traction in it because all the businesses are forever creating more output and many single units are now bigger than four from the 1970’s. Many much bigger than that and with no more labour than in the 1970’s either. So rather than pool resources they decided to get the same economy of scale individually. They are no better off though. The reason is simple economics. The economics of micro-businesses in commodity production, which is that however low the average cost of production gets, the selling price of that commodity will drop to or below that average, just about keeping businesses producing the required quantity and no more. As businesses expand production to lower unit cost, then as sure as eggs is eggs the selling price will eventually fall and margins revert to marginal. Hence the need to continually expand to stay ahead of the game. Except that large capital expenditure is a gamble and seldom leaves a farm business more cash rich for possibly decades. Paper wealth yes. But the ability to pay bills is another matter in many cases.

Every business is different with people who have different aims, ambitions, ability, labour availability [family perhaps?], ways of raising capital and, significantly for the gamblers, luck.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Every single problem raised on this forum comes back to high costs, and low produce prices.
I don't know what the answer to that is, but until it's addressed, it's going to be the same old same old.
If everyone produced less than the market demanded, profitability would skyrocket. That never happens in agriculture of course, because of the massive number of microbusinesses all effectively competing with each other to raise their own incomes through what they believe is the best way, by producing more. Which inevitably results in more for less.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Spot the difference! (Spoiler: it's a trick question, there isn't one)

fendt.jpg
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
You have to factor in the benefits system in all of this. Under the old Tax Credits system (which some people are still on) if you worked 16 hours a week the benefits system then made up your wages to what they considered your 'need' was, based on number of children outgoings etc. So what everyone wanted was a job where they did 2 days a week of the most easy type possible, because the State would make up your wages for the other 3 days, and even increase your overall hourly 'pay'. So you worked 2 days, got paid for 5.

And now under Universal Credit there is now no minimum hours worked per week. So the barrier has got even lower. Everyone wants the easiest job possible for the smallest number of hours possible. There is no incentive to work more hours or take on more difficult but maybe better paid work, because the money in your pocket will be the same at the end of the month. So nobody does. Hence why small businesses find it hard to get full time employees, but multinationals like MacDonalds have so many applicant for part time burger flipping. Everyone wants that simple part time job and let the taxpayer work for them for the rest of the week. Incentives matter you see...............
 

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

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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...
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