Monday, June 30, 2014
On today's BBC Farming Today programme (Monday, June 30, 2014), presenter Charlotte Smith talks to Professor Liam Sinclair from Harper Adams who makes some interesting points:
1. There's a wide gap in efficiency between the top third and the bottom third of beef and sheep producers
2. Capital costs are very variable between farms
3. Some beef and sheep farmers weigh stock infrequently. "If you can't measure it you can't manage it".
Specialist equipment can add significantly to the costs of production for low margin enterprises such as beef and sheep. Some farmers get the penny and the bun by making long-lasting, durable equipment in their own workshops.
Driving cattle from grazing land to the handling facilities in the yard is takes time and effort. Yet a
Monday, June 23, 2014
Today's opportunities in farming
Bankers, politicians and other commentators with an income not directly gained from the land have joined a chorus singing of the wondrous opportunities in farming. Farmers on the other hand, with mud on their boots, and cattle and corn to pay the bills,
Monday, June 02, 2014
Keeping walkers safe from grazing cattle
On Wednesday May 14 2014 Peter Jakeman, 62, from Callington, Cornwall, was walking on a footpath in Derbyshire when he was trampled to death by cattle. This is not the first accident of this kind - in fact the UK average is one death from stampeding cattle and a hundred or so injuries per year, and very many more near-misses. Enough to make any farmer with footpaths on their grazing land to take notice.
More ideas for greater safetyThe constant accident rate is accompanied by an unchanging set of instructions to walkers - keep dogs on a lead but, when the cattle charge, let them loose. Give cattle in the field a wide berth. Don't run away, don't be obtrusive. The instructions are not wholly effective. So here are some further ideas which could help reduce the incidence of cattle chasing, and occasionally injuring walkers.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Peter Lauritzen is chief executive of Arla Foods, the UK arm of the Danish-Swedish co-operative dating back to 1880. Arla now has 3,800 UK farmers as members, out of a total 13,500, and their UK business buys more than 25% of the milk produced in the UK.
An article in the Times (Jan 18, 2014), says that Mr Lauritzen anticipates a torrent of milk being produced after the quota regime ends next year, and a consequent 'price war' driving farm gate prices, and farmers profits lower. Practical Farm Ideas has published similar forecasts for more than two years,