Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Farmer's Crystal Ball.

From 12 tonight,  milk quotas will be no more.  Dairy farmers will be able to produce as much as they want.  Agricultural grazing and silage land will be at a premium.  But what will happen to the little farmers and cereal and crop growers?

What if China says they don't want imported baby milk any more?  Will all our vegetables be imported like our apples and most of our chip potatoes?

Mark Twain famously said:

"Buy land they are not making it anymore."

Will all the small farms disappear and the countryside will be just factory farms?  I suppose small farmers will get good money if they rent out their grazing.  But what if you don't want to rent the farm that your ancestors have farmed for the last 200 years at least that we know, like us?

Perhaps dairy farming will be boom and bust or perhaps farmers won't get greedy?  I got these fascinating statistics from a brilliant article in the Irish Independent last Saturday:

1.1 million.  That's how many dairy cows there are in Ireland now.  They are predicting 1.4m in 5 years.  That's a cow for every person in Dublin.

It costs 4000 Euros to keep a cow.

NINETY percent of Irish milk is exported.

30 Cents is the average price per litre paid to farmers for a litre of milk.

The list goes on.  Wish I had a crystal ball to predict what the farming landscape will be like in 5 years.  What's your prediction?

A song from yesteryear.  Styx are one of those classic rock bands I always wanted to see.  I have seen some greats like Rush, ELP, Jethro Tull, Kiss, Marillion, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Magnum, All About Eve..?  I finally saw Kansas last year.  Here's: Crystal Ball.  I think the chorus lyrics are very appropriate for today.



5 comments:

  1. I think it will make little difference to the amount of vegetables and fruit that is imported into this county. The average shopper does not give a dam where their food comes from as long as it's cheap, they also couldn't care less if it's out of season and has been in storage for up to a year and then sold as fresh. The sad fact is that the average person gas no connection to their food. There is so much that could and was grown in Ireland. Who to blame? A political system that allowed supermarkets supremacy. It's called capitalism.

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    1. Thanks Anne for your thoughts. I think most people go for cheap food because the cost of living is so expensive these days. Another thing to consider is the enviromental cost in terms of dairy farmers using more 'bag manure' (chemical fertilizers) and the run off into the watercourses. I think a lot of small farmers will be tempted to sell or rent their land to the dairy farmers. Thanks!

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  2. Yes, be nice to have a crystal ball, sometimes these changes have unexpected consequences.

    Difficult to predict what will happen to the price of milk, there's little point in over-production, unless of course there's some sort of price guarantee, the law of supply and demand usually works that the more that is available, the less will be the price. Remember the wine lakes and butter mountains?

    One to watch with interest.

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    1. Hi Cumbrian. Isn't ironic that China seems to export and manufacture products to the West and we are going to export dried milk for the babies of their next work force. The quotas were brought in to get rid of the wine lakes and butter mountains. I am going to sit tight and watch the dairy expansion with much interest. Wonder if it will be boom and bust like the traditional capitalist way? There was a major recession in the 1830's. Looks like we are going to see a 'Milk Revolution'. Thanks!

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