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Is this the end of the small farmer

  • 21-03-2022 9:11pm
    Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭ buffalobilly

    Just sitting here thinking with the price of everything is it time for the small farmer to sit back and forget about farming the land it will be impossible to make ends meet with the price of inputs I know our own situation it will be the last year we will be working for nothing just going to keep enough stock to get our payment so in reality we will be down stocking by at least 75% and I honestly believe we will have as much if not more money in the farm account at the end of the year anyone else feeling like this



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,962 ✭✭✭ 893bet

    The “payment” is getting smaller and smaller. And inflation is going to flog it.

    Keep going and keep costs down and just make sure the taxman gets as little as possible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    It certainly feels like it, Just thinking today as I was flying around after a particularly wild limousine tore down fences and made a short job a 2 hour one.

    The place gets better each year, the stock better but the earnings from the farm get worse in real terms. Inflation battering the payments and costs have left reality. Add on to that what is left buys even less now.

    It's frankly very disheartening, and there is no effort or sign of will in society or govt to reverse it. If society could even tolerate farming providing a poor living it would nearly be enough. It's turning into a money pit.

    Europ, society and Govt have no interest in food supply, production or security.

    Even Vlad using that as a weapon won't change that.

    This is a problem for the bigger lad as well, they are viewed as even lower than the average farmer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭ JustJoe7240

    Quite possibly, I stand to inherit a reasonably substantial area of land, and the way things are going, in the near future, it will make more sense to plant It with trees.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭ StevenToast

    Get yourself a cushy number off farm that pays the bills....

    Dont be expecting the farm to be supporting a family....just enough to wash its own arse....

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,293 ✭✭✭ Birdnuts

    Scale isn't exactly the path to riches either as margins continue to get eroded and inputs cost get ever higher. The crisis in the pig industry is evidence enough for that. Also if you look at farming in the US where the scale is off the charts compared to here, a large majority of farmers there could not survive without their version of CAP whose budget is actually bigger than the EU's despite having a lot less farmers!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,656 ✭✭✭ SuperTortoise

    I don't know a single beef farmer that's farming "full time", even going back 20 odd years i don't think i've ever come across one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭ maestroamado

    Irish farming is all about the payment... i read in the last couple of days land value has increased by 50% so like the housing i expect non farming people are buying up... Why would a business person pay a bank to keep money on deposit... better buy a bit of land and if it does not a profit day on day it will be there and likely gain value...

  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭ JohnChadwick

    Yea find that owning land can feel like a total trap.

    Looking at my figures it is clear keeping animals is a solid waste of time. But grass still needs to be grazed. You still have to put the time into it.

    Planting or selling up are not options. No part time farming enterprise seems financially viable now. Not one. Not sheep, not Sucklers, not drystock.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,914 ✭✭✭ endainoz

    Totally agree, divergence of payments will affect the big fellas a lot too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,720 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    Once the lads with big debt get over the initial hurdles, they'd be dying for inflation to rocket up.

    When the inflation bites, it's the fella with his pennies saved in the bank who gets stung. He often just doesn't see it

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭ tractorporn

    Diversify into what exactly? I hear this a lot but nobody gives viable options. Apart from an off farm income which most small farmers already have, I have yet to see any diversification options that 1. don't involve spending lots of money or 2. provide the same income as an off farm job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭ maestroamado

    even though i totally agree with all of your comments... why is moving on not an option if its not viable...

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭ maestroamado

    It may be a blessing when people find out how much cost v gain for small holder... i expect the guys who need two crops will feel it...

  • I think the price of land, the sfp and amount of manual labour in farming is keeping small farms viable.

    As ageing farmers retire, technology improves, the sfp shrinks and as a result margins per acre fall more land will come on stream and big farmers will get bigger.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭ DBK1

    Yea plenty of full time farmers around here as well, in all the various different enterprises. The age profile however is getting older. The youngest, non dairy, full time farmer I can think of would be early 30’s.

  • Wont be end of small farmers,as they can trim back and absorb price shocks for a year ir two as most wouldnt rely on farm for income

    But may leave many medium (80 to 110ish acres) farms,who would have had reasonable drawings/pension contributions,wondering as to rationale behind pushing it intensivly along side full time work.....most,if not all could likely make as much with a 25% reduction in stock along with less stress/worry and improved work/life balance.....or let it out tax-free

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,916 ✭✭✭ herdquitter

    The end of the small farmer? No. The end of the system on farms where the farmer and possibly spouse is subsidising the farm system, possibly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,914 ✭✭✭ endainoz

    The next recession is just around the corner, but of all the sectors around these parts in the west that were devastated for a few years, (hospitality, tradesmen, hauliers, countless other professions) farmers were relatively recession proof. Not completely of course, particularly with the ones with big loans out after listening to teagasc, but the blow was not felt as much in the farming sector at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,324 ✭✭✭ epfff

    Have to disagree.

    The fall was felt by farmers just the drop didn't come from such a hight and they were better able/more flexible to adjust to the lows.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,914 ✭✭✭ endainoz

    You just proved my point, they weren't hit anywhere near as hard as other sectors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,324 ✭✭✭ epfff

    Think you misunderstood my thinking or are trying to twist what I said to make out there was a living to be made out of farms in the last boom.

    I think you need very creative accounting to match a aldi or lidl wage for any farming in this boom or the last.

    If you lose half of zero is much less than losing half of something.

    Or in the worst case if you lose all of zero you are no worse off.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭ Rusheseverywhere

    All Irish farms are small scale. You prob saw farm in Ukraine on RTE news and issues they having anyway that 1 farm they did article on was the size of County Leitrim. Also intresting annual average salary in Ukraine is €2000 per year. No way Irish farms are competative against that. Subsidies are worth less and less I am maxed in every scheme ie ANC, SFP, GLAS, BDGP, BEEP and Organic but the money is either staying the same or being cut ie my SFP which I got as a young farmer from National Reserve is being cut. My organic payment will be the same per acre in 2028 as it was in 2015. Future is dairying on a largish scale, a bit of summer grazing or planting. In nearly every type the reality is Farming will be a tax write off.