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Tavascarow

Sustainable food trust.

Wasn't sure which section to put this under as it covers many.
I'm sure there are many here who already subscribe to this one but sure there are many here who don't & will benefit from this site.
Sustainable food trust.
bulworthy project

It is doing some fantastic work
oldish chris

Thank-you for the link.
Ty Gwyn

Patrick Holden ex Soil Association,

I can see his farm from the yard here,

Sustainability comes in many forms,

He must use more fuel per acre than most surrounding farms.
oldish chris

Patrick Holden ex Soil Association,

I can see his farm from the yard here,

Sustainability comes in many forms,

He must use more fuel per acre than most surrounding farms.
Yes - some forms are actually sustainable! When I read it all carefully, I will ensure that I don't allow my normal level of cynicism to slip Wink
Rob R

That's the trouble with farming from the other side of the hedge.
Tavascarow

Patrick Holden ex Soil Association,

I can see his farm from the yard here,

Sustainability comes in many forms,

He must use more fuel per acre than most surrounding farms.
Possibly, although you should quantify that against output, fiscal & calorific to be fair. & he could be burning biodiesel in his tractor?
These guys (SFT) are trying to look at it from all angles IMHO & don't appear to have an axe to grind, other than the protection of food supplies & the environment for future generations. Something I would have thought we all here on DS would agree with.
Ty Gwyn

That's the trouble with farming from the other side of the hedge.

A mile away in fact,lol.
Ty Gwyn

Patrick Holden ex Soil Association,

I can see his farm from the yard here,

Sustainability comes in many forms,

He must use more fuel per acre than most surrounding farms. Possibly, although you should quantify that against output, fiscal & calorific to be fair. & he could be burning biodiesel in his tractor?
These guys (SFT) are trying to look at it from all angles IMHO & don't appear to have an axe to grind, other than the protection of food supplies & the environment for future generations. Something I would have thought we all here on DS would agree with.


That`s my point,the amount of fuel used for the output is way over odds,

He may well have bio diesel in his own tractors,in-fact the last load i purchased had a percentage of bio diesel,that`s the ruling nowadays,but most of the harvesting and cultivations are done by contractors,who love going there as the yields are so light,there is no strain on the machinery,and being paid by the acre,their laughing.
Tavascarow

But the truth is we can't sustain current production methods.
Your contractor might be laughing but the farmer (if he's organic) will have minimal fertilizer applications (a little rock dust & lime at most) & zero pesticide inputs. So although his tonnage per acre might be lower his profit margin is probably higher.
Although there are no perfect systems. There are many organic farmers struggling to maintain fertility because they can't stock enough livestock to produce the manure & grow enough cash crops to provide income.
IMHO the one thing that is missing from the equation in both conventional & organic systems is the waste we as a species produce.
Start treating that as a resource instead of as a waste & the circle's complete. Wink
Rob R

Who cares if we produce less? I've just read the Farmers Weekly and in that there are calls for growers to cut back acreage by ten percent because we're producing too much to hold up prices, likewise the pig producers are wibbling over oversupply and several articles on the dairy industries problems (we now have 1/3 of the number of dairy farms in Yorkshire compared to 2000 (the year and the number). Farmers have spent too long listening to these predictions of massive demand, trying to cut fixed costs by producing more, succeeding mainly in cutting profits. And that's before you even consider the environment. Ty Gwyn

Its basically the same in any industry,prices cannot be held up when cheap foreign imports swamp the market. Rob R

Yes, but that doesn't suggest a volume based approach is the best one to take, as you'll never compete on that basis, especially if it's not even maximising returns per acre. Ty Gwyn

Of course it does`nt suggest a volume based approach is best,

But that is the crux of the matter,very few UK industries can compete with foreign imports,and its import prices that keep UK prices down.
Rob R

Hence the need for the SFT - promoting the benefits. Ty Gwyn

I suppose the income derived from his SFT and previous SA employment does promote his farming business. Rob R

It promotes all our businesses, more so than the NFU, that's for sure. Ty Gwyn

I agree the NFU is rubbish,

I phoned them when i came out of hospital hoping they could put me in touch with someone to help out while i get my strength back,
They could`nt get me off the phone quick enough.
Cathryn

But the truth is we can't sustain current production methods.
Your contractor might be laughing but the farmer (if he's organic) will have minimal fertilizer applications (a little rock dust & lime at most) & zero pesticide inputs. So although his tonnage per acre might be lower his profit margin is probably higher.
Although there are no perfect systems. There are many organic farmers struggling to maintain fertility because they can't stock enough livestock to produce the manure & grow enough cash crops to provide income.
IMHO the one thing that is missing from the equation in both conventional & organic systems is the waste we as a species produce.
Start treating that as a resource instead of as a waste & the circle's complete. Wink

The organic subsidy is high because the profit margins are usually low. Some are very good at farming organically like our neighbours with his many, many acres some are very bad. Nevertheless the only product he is selling at the moment with a premium is his milk. His lamb and beef doesn't.

Waste is used on the land.

Farmers are not one amorphous body you know just as bee keepers aren't. Wink
Rob R

Farmers are not one amorphous body you know just as bee keepers aren't. Wink

On that note;

It's time farmers faced the same financial scrutiny as everyone else
Mistress Rose

What a stupid article. He remembers the halcyon days of playing in the hay, sunshine etc. I think working as a farm labourer might do hime a bit of good. In the middle of winter, trying to get jobs done in the rain, snow, wind etc. Why does he think we now have factory farming, or doesn't he think? The main reason is that it is not economic to farm in the old mixed farming way.

It does make me rather cross that people who work in nice comfortable offices can write rubbish like this, and get it published. We don't see 'Diary of a Farmer' in any of the papers. Is there any interest from the papers in the number of pairs of gloves and boots you get through in a year, that you get cold and wet on a daily basis? No.
Tavascarow

I don't disagree with any of this, but is the general population so ignorant as to not know we are as dependent on the soil as much as the air we breath?
I'm sure I was taught basic soil science at 'O' level 40 years ago.
I suppose this is the reason we need people like the Sustainable food trust to tell us what is really common sense.
Tavascarow

Who cares if we produce less? I've just read the Farmers Weekly and in that there are calls for growers to cut back acreage by ten percent because we're producing too much to hold up prices, likewise the pig producers are wibbling over oversupply and several articles on the dairy industries problems (we now have 1/3 of the number of dairy farms in Yorkshire compared to 2000 (the year and the number). Farmers have spent too long listening to these predictions of massive demand, trying to cut fixed costs by producing more, succeeding mainly in cutting profits. And that's before you even consider the environment. Most farmers don't have a say. They haver to produce more to pay interest on loans & lease hire.
You know modern farming is a thankless treadmill & I'm sure many of those sucked into the system hate what they do & want to get off & back to a better system, but how do they when they are faced with mounting debt & falling profit?
& this is getting worse as land prices rise.
Question? If we are over producing why isn't the system changing.
Answer. Because big industries (agro chem, machinery, banks, large retail) have a bigger say than individual farmers who get no support from their 'union'. (IMHO).
Rob R

Who cares if we produce less? I've just read the Farmers Weekly and in that there are calls for growers to cut back acreage by ten percent because we're producing too much to hold up prices, likewise the pig producers are wibbling over oversupply and several articles on the dairy industries problems (we now have 1/3 of the number of dairy farms in Yorkshire compared to 2000 (the year and the number). Farmers have spent too long listening to these predictions of massive demand, trying to cut fixed costs by producing more, succeeding mainly in cutting profits. And that's before you even consider the environment. Most farmers don't have a say. They haver to produce more to pay interest on loans & lease hire.
You know modern farming is a thankless treadmill & I'm sure many of those sucked into the system hate what they do & want to get off & back to a better system, but how do they when they are faced with mounting debt & falling profit?
& this is getting worse as land prices rise.
Question? If we are over producing why isn't the system changing.
Answer. Because big industries (agro chem, machinery, banks, large retail) have a bigger say than individual farmers who get no support from their 'union'. (IMHO).

It's not easy but everyone does have a say, but producing more & more doesn't always mean receiving more income, as supply and demand kicks in and brings the price down. If you've paid out an extra few thousand to increase/improve your shed space, like many dairy farmers have done over the past couple of years, and then the price has dropped, as it has, then you're still paying for that now.

Some people are producing less though, having looked at the books and realised that the added cost of producing more isn't necessarily going to cover the cost of doing so.
Mistress Rose

Tavascarow, I learnt about basic farming methods such as dry farming in geography at Grammar school, and husband learnt it in gardening at the secondary mod but that was pre-1970. Not sure it is covered in the school curriculum these days. We also learnt about the basics of collecting data for weather recording and how to understand a weather map, so I find the dumbed down weather maps we get now very annoying.

I can see how producing less can be worth while. You don't have to employ so many people or invest in machinery or buildings. Trouble is, if all farmers go that way, all that will happen is that the supermarkets will just buy more in from abroad. If our farmers do produce more the supermarkets will pay them less per unit, so either way the farmers and the consumers don't really win.
Rob R

Another good link from the Sustainable Food Trust; Eating is important Tavascarow

My fathers pet expression that I've adopted is 'You are what you eat'.
Wink
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