Processors are treating farmers with disdain
Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30
In spite of the changeable weather I still find myself under pressure with grass supply. Luckily I have sufficient grass to ensure that my cattle continue to thrive, but on the down side I still don't know when I'll be able to take a second cut of silage.
Of course, the one thing beef farmers are never sure of at this time of year is how well or otherwise their grass-fed cattle will kill-out.
The reality is you never really know until you are presented with the factory docket. Far too often the figures can be disappointing.
When the time comes to sell cattle, I find that it really helps to concentrate one's mind on what fattening cattle is all about. For me it is simply about finding the correct balance between maximising the amount of beef I produce while incurring the lowest possible input costs.
Once again I hope to finish my cattle on grass alone. This system may appear to be both simplistic and old fashioned, but grass is what grows on my farm, so that's what I use to produce beef. I look on growing grass on my farm as a bit like mining a natural resource.
The real challenge is to then convert this grass into cash as efficiently as possible.
I do this by buying store cattle sourced principally from local dairy herds, fatten them on grass and so turn this 'natural resource' into income.
As everyone knows there are very low returns from beef farming, so controlling costs/inputs is critical and for me this is what it is all about.