Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Many farmers get 'the boy' to do the feeding. He doesn't mind doing it - it's mechanical and not hard work. Neither is it too complicated. He can do it unsupervised. Unlike milking, where a mistake can lead to a disaster, feeding has fewer pitfalls. So milking is seen as the most important work on the dairy farm, and even in a beef unit. feeding is often a routine left for someone who's had little or no training.
Think again. Feed is the most costly input in both milk and beef. The combined cost of bought in concentrates and feed materials, plus the home grown or bought in forage is greater than the cost of labour or anything else.
Friday, September 07, 2012
Organic Farming Takes a Knock
FOR TWO DECADES and more farmers have been told that doing it organically is the only 'sustainable' way to farm. In the past few weeks I have read two reports which question the benefits of organic farming. These are two high profile studies come from the most prestigious sources - the universities of Oxford in the UK and Stanford in the USA. Both have gained considerable media exposure, and they conclude that conventional farming isn't as bad as we've been told.
I conclude that organic farming is beneficial to all farmers, as it provides a premium market for all types of food that has the effect of providing an uplift for the food market as a whole.