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Honored Advisor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

Amen! One more Great White Shark that died when it had to cease swimming forward. 

 

Do you think OUR lenders would allow us to leverage ourselves at 35-40 to one? 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

kraft........ locked and loaded!!!!

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Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

Yes and there are alot of potential Bto's who are not bto's because they choose not to be one. Very successful managers that are content with what they have. Making a living is only part of it. Living a life is important to.

Senior Advisor

Defending a way of life

It's interesting to me to observe that many discussions like this one get away from the thesis that certain things are a certain way and begin attacking or defending ways of life or lifestyles.  

Is there any other human endeavor where the way a person makes a living and the lifestyle of that person become so intertwined? 

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Senior Advisor

Defending a way of life

It's interesting to me to observe that many discussions like this one get away from the thesis that certain things are a certain way and begin attacking or defending ways of life or lifestyles.  

Is there any other human endeavor where the way a person makes a living and the lifestyle of that person become so intertwined?   And does that make one's vision clearer or dimmer about that endeavor?

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Advisor

Re: Defending a way of life

  None comes to mind off the top of my head.  Not many make their living in their back yard and are in the community as much a % of the time as we are.  There are weeks I don't venture more than 5 miles from home.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Defending a way of life

There is a perspective that staying so close to home makes one's outlook too provincial. Not getting out with other people can lead to forgetting how to compromse, or otherwise cooperate with others. It can lead to a narrow social view. This tendency can be guarded against, by staying current on happenings, reading and listenng to the opinions of people with different experiences. We all see things through pur own filters... As for the actual subject of this thread, the article on efficiences creditted to comtract peoduction, genetic manipulation, and other means, all generally directed towards stahdardizatin of product, asmfar as I uave observed of the reguoar posters here, our farmily is the only one involved with such verticalization. I will venture to say that there is no way you can respond to this circumstance without that direct involvement.
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Veteran Contributor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

I still hold the view of the operators in my area, that if you cannot make a living off of 1000 acres you are not efficient. We have had large operators completely forget to harvest and/or plant a field in a neighborhood in a timely fashion, then line up like black Friday for a government bailout. How is this efficient? Large operators traveling 100 miles to farm 80 acres. How is that efficient? When they aggressively out bid young beginning farmers in an area for that extra 80., how is that efficient? I for one hope that any farmbill that comes to fruition eliminates payment to these operators based on Gross income not adjusted gross. Lets start with $250k as a target # and limited to one homogeneous operation. We need more farmers, not less as one US senator stated several years ago!!! Like another poster stated, this is the same USDA that keeps giving us the comic book supply and demand estimates.

Senior Contributor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

  Jim, the article is (intentionally?)very vague and isn't supported by any data that verifies their conclusions. First and foremost is the issue of economic efficiency, as in the ROI of each and every dollar of each size of operation. I think that the article is an after the fact and intentionally vague generalization to justify or support where and to whom the  USDA monies are spent, especially considering the timing of it.

  The efficiency plateau once it has been achieved gets very costly for each incremental increase after that, but if there's a large backstop that is from a third party, does that mean that it's still considered efficiency if it's not factored into the equation? The market pressures and supply an demand fundamentals will lead most people to maximize their own operations without outside influence, but is that really the case here?

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Honored Advisor

Re: USDA says big farm bring efficiency

I go back to my original point about defining efficiency. In many regards, it is a slam dunk to award the title for " most efficient" to an operation like that of our integrator. When you streamline systems so that millions of animals flow throughout the production pyramids from breeding to slaughter, you have to develop some effiiciencies, at least by accident. Look at a feed mill that takes grain deliveries on a very close to realtime use scenario...they stay about only two days deep in our division. One facility supplies a geographic region with set service days, blackout days and lead-times for ordering feed. The lead-time orders alone pull the supply line along. Trucks haul loads that maximize tonnage delivered in as tight an area as possible. No as many wasted miles when you schedule loads correctly. The newest organizational plan has structured animal distribution to both eliminate disease vectors as much as e, and optimize livehajl mileage. Instead of 100 miles, pur piglets will travel maybe four or five miles from a newly reconstructed sow farm to us...the sows are right across a swamp from here. Fewer external influences on our pyramid this way. How much does the rule cost drop when you cut put the distance two times a week, every week, for that semi alone? Add in a decision on this last reconfiguration to situate finishers closest to the feed mills, and sows and nurseries further away. That controls costs in feed delivery to the farms that consume the most. Throw in every economy of scale and cost you can control, by doing things like having your own company vets tailor and fabricate vaccines, being able to beat the best price out of any vendors you don't buy out, and so on.... Here is one other example: this one is so big, it self- insures, not just for losses, but I have been told for its employees healthcare coverage, too. I am sure they save quite a bit on input costs this way, aren't you? Even if you look at labor on our little farm, you can see that effiiency is what lets us all put in parts of days workingigs, so we can do many other things. We have watched this giant re- invent itself at least five times in 17 years. That is operationally. If you are talking organizationally, I lose count of how may different divisions we have worked in during our tenure...centered in a region where the industry has worked uonder a moratorium that has severely limited growth options since 1996. I hope they really are more efficient...that is the only way that thousands of families like mine have any job security!
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