The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Pigs => Topic started by: stephen on March 04, 2008, 12:25:53 pm

Title: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: stephen on March 04, 2008, 12:25:53 pm
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: Hilarysmum on March 04, 2008, 12:51:36 pm
About time, especially when places like Waitrose are labelling their bacon as from rare breed pigs, (busy housewife is not going to stop to read the small print, she will assume its from British pigs) in large letters and its only when you read the very small print you find out its from Canadian Berkshire sires on to commercial sows.  And they charge a huge premium because its rare breed!

Rant over. 

Perhaps we could convince one of the super chefs like Hugh fW or Jamie Oliver to write a cook book on pork.  On recent evidence i.e. school dinners and battery hens, it should help to turn things around.

Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: rustyme on March 04, 2008, 01:03:54 pm
to add a bit more to that . Feed costs are set to go up by a very possible 600% this year ! A farmer next to me said that fertilizer is now 279 Pounds a ton ,and is due to go up again in April .less that 2 years ago he was paying 140 pounds a ton , what will that do to milk and beef prices, and who will get the increased prices ? Due to the cost of fuel ( set to go through the roof very soon  !) and the shortage of grain ,there are some very VERY hard times on the way . People who are more or less self sufficient in feed stuff for their animals will be ok , but what about everyone else ? if a bag of feed costs 6 quid now could you afford 36 quid for the same bag ? Well maybe for just the one , but what about a ton or more ?   Those of us with just a few aniamls should be able to manage but it may be a different proposition for any with a large number, hence the amount of people already leaving farming ( in the UK that is )....  :'( :(
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: carl on March 04, 2008, 03:35:17 pm
Russ I hope your wrong with your 600% feed rise. If you think about it, that means all food will rise significantly as well. Can you substantiate this figure?, it might mean allotments become the new klondyke and cabbage rustlers the new dealers. Last time something like this happened a local farmer trained his herd to go without food, and just as they got the hang of it they died.(sorry, old farmers joke).
seriously,this yet another blow to a key british industry, which will open the door to inferior cheap imported produce. As smallholders we can do our bit to be more self sufficient, but it is becoming a very expensive hobby, especially if you have to buy in a lot of feed, seed and fertiliser etc. It might be worth planting a bit of cereal and harvesting by hand.
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: rustyme on March 04, 2008, 05:10:18 pm
Hello Carl,
             I have been trying to remember what program I heard it on ?, I think it may have been countryfile , and they were talking about the grain shortage and the cost of soya ( soya being one of the main protein providers in animal feed ) . I also read it online somewhere but again where is anyones guess !!But I was just talking to the farmer nextto me and he said that fertilizer has now gone upto over 300 pound a ton. He said this time last year he paid 127 for the same amount !!! He ( the farmer ) asked the feed supplier rep if pig feed was set to go up by 600% or whatever , and the rep said he couldn't say for sure what was going to happen but, if you are going to buy any buy it NOW !!!! This is all a bit he said and she said .... but so far over the 3 years just about every thing that has been said in similar fashion , has turned out to be right .  Hay/silage cutting and bailing contractors are already putting their prices way up on last years prices. So even without the weather problems , hay/haylage/silage looks set to go up again this year.  I really hope that what I heard was way off the mark and that it only goes up by much smaller amounts. But it really looks like it has at last hit ... things are a changing fast , and not for the better.   I have been trying to set things up on my land to produce everything I need , thats for my food and for my animals. I hope that this year it all slips into place and that I will be mostly self supporting in feed, manure,and power. I am lucky and can put the time in to do it , but people who are working full time will have horrible decisions to make I think. It may not be this year but I think it will be very soon . As you say , try to grow as much grain etc as you can , lucerne/alfalfa is another very good protein feed as is comfrey. Both being cut and come again (4-5 cuts a year) so huge amounts can be grown to supply a lot of very good feed .

Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: Hilarysmum on March 04, 2008, 07:44:47 pm
Rus well said. 

Look here:
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: rustyme on March 04, 2008, 08:32:44 pm
hello HM ,
           busy reading your link now... heres another , the videos on the right hand side are good too:
I still can't find the bit about the very high price rises (600%) But in one of the videos , one farmers feed bill went from 13,000 to 24,000 .....if that were the end of it , that would be bad enough! , however  , I think that isn't the end of it by a long way .
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: Hilarysmum on March 05, 2008, 07:54:15 am
It may have been on the Farmers Programme on Radio 4?  Here feed prices have more than doubled in the past year.  Yet supermarkets still sell pork on promotion at 2.50 euros a kilo.  Its madness.
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: carl on March 05, 2008, 09:23:54 am
It is a bit daunting, but russ has the right idea. I bet he could survive longer than most if someone pressed the button, and we all had to fend for ourselves. I am now thrown into making big descisions on what to plant and how much livestock to keep this year,. fodder crops, comfrey, veg and fruit and put a couple of my own sheep on the big paddock.maybe just two weaners later on for the xmas market. Luckily the pigs, hens and next doors horses will provide plenty of fertiliser along with some comfrey i have planted. I will see if I can do  a deal with the farmer to plant some mangels in with his spuds. i am glad I am a hobby farmer /smallhoder rather than having my mortgage depending on it.(watch this year be a bumper year for cereal farmers, and then people get the idea that there are no problems in agriculture)
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: rustyme on March 05, 2008, 01:02:32 pm
yes hit the nail right on the head there Carl ...One good year and not only the public , but the government as well think everything is fine and dandy . However, I think we in the western civilisation , are about to experience the things that third world people have lived with forever ! Weather patterns are ( as we already know ) going to play a huge role in this . Crop failure (already started) animal disease ( already started) fuel crisis (just about to start ) . In the UK the government has been trying to kill off agriculture for the whole term of it's office. They change the basic setup that has taken centuries to evolve , to something they just think up on the spot and say oh this is better we will do it this way now....Then after a year or so when it all crumbles they invent a new 'better' system ? 
   The thing that really worries me is, that farming has taken such a huge hit for years now, that if ? WHEN the fuel crisis really hits, all this fantastic cheap food that we have got used to transporting all round the world, added to the decline in farming ,will become very every expensive at least, if ? even available. Food from around the world is only cheap as long as fuel to transport it is cheap .  Also if world climate changes, and food becomes scarce, will the people that supply us the huge amounts we need,  go without themselves ?  Our food supply system is similar to the USA one , based on a 3 day turn round . So , after 3 days of no deliveries the towns and cities have NO food to fall back on ....It can all go wrong very fast, and like a lot of other things , it is more luck than judgment that has kept it going as long as it has so far ! Fuel crisis ! No fuel means no food can be moved around the country full stop . If you think that the government have plans for such an event , think again . There are , at most , 48-72 hours fuel set asside for emergency services , police ,fire and ambulance. The army have very little reserve. After 3 days it would very quickly become everyone for themselves.  For those of us who have our own stock and grow our own food , life will be different , even very hard . But for those in big towns and cities , with no idea of how to grow food, let alone the space and time to do so ,what would happen to them ?  It has been over the last 10-15 years that our lives have really changed so much , without us even realizing it . I just hope that my doom and gloom  senario is wrong, and that life as we know it can hold on till a new (old) system returns . It is starting ( farmers markets and the like ) ( localy grown organic food) but is it enough ? can the crumbling system we have now hold on long enough ? I really hope so . A big problem that could play a part also is that for 60 years or so now , farming has become almost totally reliant on chemical fertilizer. Without the tons of it that is heaped on the ground to make crops grow , huge areas of land will be barron infertile wasteland. This has been known for years now . But very little done to solve the problem !
       The best thing we can do (in my opinion ) is set ourselves up so that if/when  it happens , we are able to step things up a bit to supply ourselves ,and who ever else we could help. Lets hope that things keep on sitting on the knife edge for a while longer , I do not like the thought of what is waiting if it slips off of the knife.   Oh and although I keep this very firmly in my mind , I don't walk round thinking doom and gloom , the world is going to end !  I do what I do becuase I want to and I like doing it ! but it also has the added benefit that IF things go wrong I WILL SURVIVE ......Must go and take some happy pills now... ;D
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: carl on March 05, 2008, 03:04:47 pm
I think there is an element of survivalism in all smallholders. we all grow a little too much and give it away etc. of course our food tastes better as well for being fresher and better raised.(we would not admit if it was worse). but deep down we feel safer knowing that there is food in the larder and food in the ground. We would be healthier as a nation if we spurned fast expensive food for growing fresh stuff in whatever capaicity we are able to, be it field, allotment, garden or pots. cleaner for the enviromnment and better for all.
Title: Re: thought some of you might be intrested!
Post by: stephen on March 11, 2008, 09:34:09 am
this article carries on from what has been said on this thread about the rising cost of food and feeds....