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Just a note to let you know how we have enjoyed reading Practial Farm Ideas. It's one of the best farm magazines we have had for a long time and will pass it around for our friends to read - it's so interesting that you just can't put it down. Keep up the good work!

S.J.Perry, Exeter

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  • Irish Minister Coveney claims future "very bright" for dairying 'because' output lifts 10%   21 Aug 2015
    There are a great many farms investing a large amount of capital all who are relying on Minister Coveney's predictions bullish being right. But I just don't see the logic in his remark that the future is 'very bright' for Irish dairy farmers because milk output is up 10% since the end of quotas. The agricultural economics I was taught said price was an inverse of supply - the more that was produced the lower the price. Now I know that was at an English university (Reading), but I really don't think it would have been very different if I had studied in Cork. Of course I am sure that the EU or national governments will ride to the rescue of farmers, they always do. Somehow that extra little bit of help is always forthcoming, and soon gets added to the other payments which the industry across Europe needs for its very existence. But the problem is that today farmers factor in this help when doing their budgeting, and when buying more land.
    Coveney is not the only man in charge talking nonsense. The UK NFU leader, Meurig Raymond, a large scale milk producer himself, announced on the radio recently there was a real chance of dairy goods not being on the shelf unless farmgate prices were lifted. Unless he was predicting the collapse of another UK dairy business, which could be on the cards, the problem facing the industry seems to be oversupply, which should keep the shelves full, I would have thought. Farmers and their leaders could do well to read Doug Edmeades who remarks that dairy companies the world over are always calling for an increase in supply, which gives them the chance to drive down the price they pay for their raw material, and this sounds entirely logical. Personally, I think Coveney is wrong to say that things will improve in the short term, and wrong to be encouraging farmers to borrow more money on major expansion. Producers need to focus on lowering costs and raising efficiency. Five years ago I reported a farmer who had zero mastitis cases for a year in his 140 cow herd, and explained how he achieved this. There are farmers getting 5,700 herd average on grass alone - no cake or meal, other than a mouthful to carry minerals. These measures add money to the back pocket, rather than lifting major sums from the capital account of the farm business, leaving the balance sheet in a weaker position.
  • Bovine TB moves up a gear - to the conern of all involved - Created: 18/04/2013

dairy-cows   New figures published today show an increase of 9.6 per cent in cattle slaughtered for TB in England,   which has now reached a figure of 38,010.


How to make a hula-hoop which has a diameter that allows a simple in-the-head calculation to give you a plant population that is either per acre; per hectare; per sq ft or sq m.  This full length article discusses the factors which need consideration about re-sowing and the dates for different spring sown crops. Free.


Avoid stripes like these by setting the spreader accurately on the tractor 3-pt. This free news report provides you with cost effective tips that are essential if you are going to get it consistently right each time - and methods which can be shown to any worker.


NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond is firmly behind the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board saying “Removing this separate structure seems entirely consistent with modern notions of workers’ rights, industrial […]


The New Issue of Practical Farm Ideas, Vol 21, issue 2, has been printed, mailed to subscribers and will be in selected rural stores from Thursday Aug 9. Click through […]


The role of each party involved and why the minister might be deaf.  A neighbouring dairy farmer dropped in yesterday…  “what can be done to get us out of this […]


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