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What if any changes are you going to make to you're current system with costs going out of control.

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  • 08-03-2022 5:36pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,531 ✭✭✭


    Must be more than me wondering what to do. I cut back my fert order from 16 ton to 6 ton. I couldn't justify buying much more. Going to cut back 10 of the worst cows along with culling the 4 or 5 that have to go every year, they probably weren't justifying their keep anyway but I'm after getting the push I need now to shift them on. I have 15 good yearling heifers kept on for replacements a mix of simx and charolais out of sim cows and 8 two year olds for the bull so will be easy enough to build them back up in a year or two if I want. Feeding a lot of meal at the moment and you'd really notice the difference in what it's costing. Don't want to be caught in the same situation again next year.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,781 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall


    Plan is to keep finishing cattle calf and suckler to beef, with a few tweeks.

    With grain situation, store cattle and weanlings are going to be in for a serious hit in price. Lads won't have the appetite or the larger operators won't have the liquidity to buy big amounts of grain. This is going to leave a serious shortage of finished cattle at this time next year. People will try to finish mad this fall to avoid the shed. I can see a lot of culls and under finished cattle this autumn and back end, this will depress price, but once these are washed thru the system, numbers will tighten very quickly

    Finish Angus crosses out of the shed at this time next year. They are the stock that will be the quickest and take the least amount of meal to get there. Let the Suckler bred stock back to grass to finish.

    Better quality silage to be made. Will end up with 3/4 of 2021 pit left . This tested out at 70%dmd and 13% protein. This will have serve the majority of the next winter. Pit silage crews are now going to really have to look at the pricing per hour and not per acre. This may benefit taking the early may crop.

    Put in a chunk of whole crop and cover with some second cut. Any thing to reduce the cost of ration.

    Finishing cattle will need energy and grass silage can't provide it.

    Its all about being nimble and trying to think 5 steps ahead of everyone else



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    15 cattle I was going to finish in November and December went in to January instead. Finish 65 roughly a year. Haven't bought replacements.


    Most of Others were bought last December, White head heifers 350kg at 640, was lucky enough so they will go in Summer.

    Continentals and Friesian till October. So I have flexibility built in this year.


    Will increase ewes, buying in Lleyn and Cheviot scanned to twins where possible.

    If cattle are cheaper in the summer I'll start picking up ones for well in to next year.


    The Sheep are grazing half of the silage block now, slurry out next week hopefully. Have good p and k and nwill give 100 units of Urea when opportunity arises


    The sheep half will try make 20th may silage on, feed first half of winter.. The other half will not be grazed, it'll be shook with a 100 of urea, big bulky crop, glad to have it job. Don't want to risk another cold April and May.


    Will set an acre of sugar beet along the edge of the block the Sheep graze in winter, strip graze with grass, will lamb later in April.


    Hope to pick up numbers throughout the year. Light cattle.


    So basically more sheep, run small number of cattle for most of the year. Big crop of bales and pick up ones for next year as chance arises but full number's in to shed next winter. A class of skipping the year.


    Next winter ration will be scarce and bought in silage will probably North of 50, plenty of it and get through the year and hope for a new balance.



  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭Easten


    • Reducing stock numbers, all Cull cows and poor performs out the gate asap.
    • Fatten the replacement heifers instead of giving them the Bull, they should fatten on grass and leave good money
    • Reducing the tractor hours, no more leaving the Tractor idling away in the yard it's switch off as soon as it's finished
    • No more fertilizer being bought, I've only 1/3rd of my usual amount.
    • No more Impulse purchasing at the mart.
    • No more Impulse purchasing at the Co-op
    • Drastically reduce the amount of baled silage, it's not economical. I can't afford the Contractor charges and he can't afford to subsidise me
    • Purchased a new Baler (new to me) I'm going to make as much hay as possible now, should be easy to save light meadows that got very little fertilizer
    • Factory the Bull and empty Cows as soon as breeding season is over, no more 2nd and third chances it just makes for late calving
    • Sell Weanlings straight off the Cows, zero meal given to them.
    • December 2022 I'll reassess everything and see if I am any worse off


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    Lad in England, big beef Farming family, and sales rep for a ration company. He was saying he has had 5 people already this week tell him they are thinking of emptying the shed.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,664 Mod ✭✭✭✭blue5000


    I made the big change last year, this year going to grow a bit of oats. Not going to make any huge changes, just try to be more self-sufficient. The 4 cylinder tractor is going to be used a lot more than the 6 cylinder one.

    Not going to panic, it could be a fantastic year for farming yet, Napoleon said an army marches on it's stomach. I don't know how many million horses were used and ate in WWII, but there ain't much atin in a tank or a truck.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-wwii-german-army-was-80-horse-drawn-business-lessons-from-history/

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,567 ✭✭✭✭_Brian


    with minimal tweaking seeing out a year or two of high inputs should be no trouble, but if they remain then agriculture will have to change.

    we spread minimal fertiliser, only contractor work is baling silage.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,217 ✭✭✭Grueller


    Sucklers or the vast majority getting the gate. Will graze the out farm with my own dairy cross cattle.

    Have about 40-50% of next years silage requirements left over so closing less ground.

    Cancelled a builder I had booked for a tank, cubicles and a shed. I need the storage and cubicle space but I'll throw a few 2nd hand cubicles in a shed I have already and tough it out for a year or 2 and re assess.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,729 ✭✭✭Birdnuts


    Probably expand the wholecrop oat acreage and water down the slurry for a start.



  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭JohnChadwick


    Anyone else feel that contractors, agri merchants etc. are kind of over-engaging in the hyping up of costs.

    It's like that they're trying to justify the massive increases that they are inevitably off-loading on to the farmer.

    Don't get me wrong, the costs are rising and will seemingly continue to do so (as Russia gets cut off over the next few years). But hyping it up to a point that farmers are panicked is hardly good for the whole industry either.



  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭Easten


    idk about the contractors, I'd say a good few of them are on the hook for a lot of money on all the new machinery and tractors. I already had the argument with my contractor, in fairness he was giving lads the heads up on the price increases going forward but I pointed out he didn't reduce the prices when diesel was 40c/litre. I think he will be in trouble financially but I could be wrong. Anyways I'll not be using him this year, I've already bought hay and have about 70% of my fodder for winter 2022/3 and I'll just make up a bit of hay myself for the difference.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,200 ✭✭✭✭mahoney_j


    Have a decent stack of feed left over as of now …will make same ammount of first cut as last year and leave decision on second cut till it’s done

    have 90% of fertiliser I used last year bought and that’s it

    make more use of contractors with precision equipment like gps fertiliser spreaders and t shoe slurry

    stock numbers …won’t be any drastic change as in back of my heat I’m thinking of a reference year cow numbers even allowing for selling few duds will be up 9 on last year …all fr bull calves will be sold …have Angus calves from now on …will keep them and sell in October

    will keep production per cow up and try and increase it …cap feed at 1.5 t and try aim for 1.3…all weather dependant with a historic high milk price think it’s right call

    cut out buying stupid shite I don’t really need



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,781 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall


    Running cost are going to eat a large chunk out of contactors margins. Secondly people will only do what they have to do this year to get by. This will reduce the amount of work they complete.

    Labour is also going to pinch as workers will want a bit more due to their living costs having risen.

    Reduced output is going to hit hard. Any of the pit crews are seriously going to have to look at the cost of long draws and heavy crops.

    It's a double edged sword and I can see some getting into serious bother unless they are better at gathering payment for work completed. Can't see too many oil companies waiting too long for payment. The only light they have is the value of repayments have been reduced due to inflation



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,777 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe


    Will high oil & gas prices not be a good thing for Irish farmers? Ireland having the lowest carbon footprint in Dairying in Europe, plus the 3rd lowest in Beef in Europe. Prices increases add to costs here, but across Europe, the increase will be far higher. Think of the European Dairy guys with their indoor, all year round systems. Huge diesel and fertiliser bills. Ireland dairying, on the other hand - cows lying in the rich summer grasses. No comparison in margins.

    I'd be slow to cut numbers. Expect big increases in Beef and Milk prices.

    For me, it's weird as I never had as much silage and I also have some fertiliser left over from last year. Usually never the case.

    'When I was a boy we were serfs, slave minded. Anyone who came along and lifted us out of that belittling, I looked on them as Gods.' - Dan Breen



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    We'd want to be reasonable with the contractor this year cause we'll need him next year as well.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭DBK1


    I have to smile when I read this sort of drivel. You’re probably the same type of lad that will ask the contractor why didn’t he just put in a big 100,000 gallon tank and buy the diesel when it was cheap? Or ask him why didn’t he “go up the north” and buy net/polythene where it’s cheaper.

    Can I ask did you go to your contractor last October when a lot of this was predicted and forward pay him for your work for this year so he could get his diesel and all in when it was cheaper and save you money this year? I highly doubt it. But still you’ll expect him to carry all the cost and wonder why he hasn’t millions invested a year early to save you a few hundred on your few acres.

    I’d be worried about any farmer that has to wait for the contractor or merchant to tell him what’s happening, surely anyone with the intelligence to be able to farm can see what’s happening for themselves without having to wait for their contractor to tell them? It’s literally all that’s being talked about for the last month all over the world.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,781 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall


    Correct on numbers. Every farm dependent on indoor feeding, is going to the be under serious pressure due to oil price of getting feed in and poo out. This has risen and eroded their tight margin.

    I have a feeling we will see a huge cull and reduction of numbers in these systems later this year. This will drive up beef production and depress price a for a while until they are flushed thru the system. After that price will rise greatly and hold for longer.

    I have a feeling that Larry and his friends sheds will a lot quieter this year.

    Secondly are the coops going to come under pressure for gas with peak milk supply.

    The rise in prices is going to focus the average consumer on fuel, food and a roof over their head. This is going to reduce the amount of discretionary spending. The quantities of mochas and avacodos consumed will really drop. The focus will be back to the basics. This is about to hearld a change in farmer fortunes



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    2 cent cut in green Diesel excise.


    ... Cause food production is valued and important.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭DBK1


    There’ll be very little difference in the cost of white and green so at that rate.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,200 ✭✭✭✭mahoney_j




  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,664 Mod ✭✭✭✭blue5000


    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    Off the excise duty per litre. So it's bought in, the govt add an automatic 56 cent, think it is 56 cent, and then other taxes are applied as a % of purchase price, Vat etc.


    So the middle bit added on automatically will be 54.


    That's the gist of it.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,190 Mod ✭✭✭✭K.G.


    No major changes just yet except we ll pull the mower out early and keep her out.move from to 2 to 3 cut and try and improve quality a good bit while lowering fert application per cut (about half) that would be 40 units +slurry per cut instead of 80 + slurry per cut currently.wouldnt rule out drying earlier rather than buying ration for milking cows in the autumn.we ll just have to see how it goes .leaning towards more cutting ration than fertilizer if possible.my biggest worry is having enough feed for next winter



  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭James2022


    I've always had the belief that farming is about saving money as much as it making money. I always found it strange people would leave tractors running ideal for hours without use. They'd be down at one end of the yard working away with the tractor running away at the other end.


    I'm trying to calculate what is the best option. I've got a little under 1/2 the silage needed for next winter right now but a lot of animals still housed and not going out for 2-3 weeks.

    A - Feed more meal now so there is more silage left over for next Winter. With the price of fertiliser, fuel, wrapping etc the price of silage is going to go up and yields are going to go down. I don't want to find myself short this time next Spring and it will take the pressure of pushing a higher yielding second cut.


    B - Feed less meal and more silage. Gamble on reasonable first cut yields and a very good second cut. This will require more fertiliser if the slurry isn't doing a good enough job.


    C - Stay the same and get animals out as soon as ground conditions and weather allow. Buy in fodder and feed more meal next Spring. This seems like the worst option.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,781 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall


    @James2022 The plan has to be to get the cheapest feed possible into your cattle. I let out a lot of cattle on heavy ground last week and they are spread in small bunches and strip wires up. Even the dry cows went out to graze during the day. It's bloody amazing the reduction in silage being feed. The silage currently in the yard is the cheapest winter feed that I will have next year. This gives you options, either to go for a multicut or an option of bulk.

    Even getting out lighter stock now will help greatly. The amount of grass that grew this winter is huge. You have to graze it to grow it. Regrowths are there you can see it over the past week. Had ground graze at the end of January with yearlings and there is a lovely cover back on it.

    Haven't spread any fertiliser and only spread 5 loads of slurry so far.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    Ration is not your friend, especially this year coming.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,979 ✭✭✭893bet


    Ration we get jumped 50 a tonne to 370 this week.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,777 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe


    Just heard today that a large Clare based silage contractor, will not be doing silage this year.

    'When I was a boy we were serfs, slave minded. Anyone who came along and lifted us out of that belittling, I looked on them as Gods.' - Dan Breen



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,729 ✭✭✭Birdnuts


    Not sure about that - most conventional Dairy here relies heavily on inputs like Chem Fert, sprays,Diesel etc. alot of that is shelled out on intensive PRG silage production. The price of these things are only going one way and will significantly hit bottom lines even if we get a good spring/summer for grass growth.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,446 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.


    Sow a heap of clover



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭Base price


    Just a word of caution - be careful about too much clover in the grazing pasture as it can cause severe bloat. Years ago we use to use a product called Bloatguard that we added to the drinkers.



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