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10-23-2018 06:42 AM - edited 10-23-2018 06:43 AM
How the heck am I supposed to know ? I am not a pig farmer...
I could say the same thing to you...can you explain Pascal's Triangle, do you know what regression to mean is ? Can you tell me the formulae for GDP ? Do you knpow what a Fibonacci retracement series is ? Are you that dumb ? I could go on all day, a lot longer than you.
They trade pork bellies and only the bellies on the CBOT, so what do they do to sell off the rest of the pig ?
And do pig farmers actually go out to the sty and wash the pigs or do they let the rain do it for them ? If not then why do you and some others use the phrase "hogwash" ?
10-23-2018 06:46 AM - edited 10-23-2018 06:48 AM
They don`t trade pork bellies anymore which is sad, because I like to say "pork bellies").
We`re kind of in the same boat for different reasons, if you have the volume to buy your inputs 50% cheaper, you probably use that savings to bid up land rents to get even bigger. If you are small, there`s opportunities like organics and natural livestock that are all more labor intensive. If you want to farm like grandpa or I should now say "great grandpa", there`s a app for that! But speaking of jealously, just mention "organics" and watch the Bigshots say "fraud! Hoax!...spreading weeeeds around the county!" ….well, your herbicides work, don`t they? There are some that really make the organic model work, but they have to work too and do paperwork.
If a Bigshot buys DeKalb for $150 a bag and a Little Shot buys Epley for $100 a bag and BOTH are in the top 5 or 10 on yield, I don`t know what "advantage" the Bigshot really has. The Bigshot buys Lorsban aphid spray for $4/acre and the Little Shot orders a generic organophosphate for $2/acre from Wickman Chemical ...they both result in dead aphids. If the neighbor`s farm comes up for rent, the Little Shot that pulled that neighbor out of a snowbank and helped him bale hay, might have a bigger advantage than the no-name Bigshot in a different county offering $10/acre more. However, the Little shot better not be surprise if he lands the farm to be expected to mow the driveway and pick up a stick or two off the lawn. Well, I`ve seen it where the Bigshot rents it and the Little Shot is still called to do the little extra things because "my renter is too busy"
So, I don`t know. Some will go broke, some will survive, farms will continue getting bigger, prices will hover around to below breakeven. If you don`t expect much, you won`t be disappointed.
10-23-2018 07:23 AM
I agree with you about costing more doesn't necessarily make it better. And also that the its probably better to be in a business that focuses on 80% of the consumers for your product instead of the other 20%.
My point is that there are ways to cut production costs for small farmers so that they can make the kinds of profits they deserve to earn considering the importance of their work and the efforts they put into it. Someone on this site - it may have been you - once wrote to me that "its only for the big guys - when discussing how to deliver corn into a futures contract. And yes, I can see how having a dedicated rail line is beyond the reach of small farmers. But there are other ways, especially concerning land costs since they are a major factor in production costs, that expenses could be brought lower through cooperative efforts of the small farming community and with the help of the government. The big guys already do that but its not beyond the reach of the small farmers to gain the same advantages if they work together as a lobby. You have these coops that were originally intended to help you get better pricing and ease of delivery. While they may not produce the desired outcomes as intended, the concept makes sense. That kind of communal action could be expanded to the buy side of the business, and also to create a powerful political lobby to force the government to help solve your difficulties with land costs rather than throw you subsidies each year that don't do anything to solve the land cost problem.
It wouldn't be hard to do, but it takes a unity of thought among small farmers. I think that is the root cause of why it hasn't been done yet, and I hope that one of these generations the majority of the small farm owners who take over from the present generation will work to this objective before its too late for many.