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pt756

sonny perdues remarks smalll farms?

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news media is sure playing up the ags secretaries remarks about small farms , get big or get out theory, then I was watching us farm report this morning its not the small farms its probably mid size trying to make a living off the farm vs small farms with outside income,, it was always said that the 3 to 4 hundred cow farms are kind of no mans land, I imagine that when all of the 50 cow farms are gone then the next size will be the several hundred cow size,

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26 minutes ago, pt756 said:

news media is sure playing up the ags secretaries remarks about small farms , get big or get out theory, then I was watching us farm report this morning its not the small farms its probably mid size trying to make a living off the farm vs small farms with outside income,, it was always said that the 3 to 4 hundred cow farms are kind of no mans land, I imagine that when all of the 50 cow farms are gone then the next size will be the several hundred cow size,

Already is. And the reports on his statement were totally inaccurate in what his remarks actually were. It use to be trust but verify, now it’s don’t trust, check other sources and then verify 🤯

I think it’s already moving on to the 1000 cow dairies.

The winds of change are blowing hard, hurricanes, tornadoes and stupidity is running rampant in the anti dairy climate change save the earth by destroying everything you dislike or misunderstood ask no questions take no prisoners crowd

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3 minutes ago, pt756 said:

 I imagine that when all of the 50 cow farms are gone then the next size will be the several hundred cow size,

Certainly!

Here most of the start up farms milking 80 head in the 90's have either gone big or failed. And in the 90's a banker wouldn't even talk to anyone here unless they were going 80 head or larger. So yea, next small dairy will be 400-500 head.

Part of the problem is people change. In the 20's/30's and clear up through the end of the 60's most small family farms are what's now called subsistence farms. The farmer raised enough for his family and a little extra for themselves. The wife and kids were the farm labor plus they put up a garden and canned their own food. Mom made a lot of their clothing. Heck feed/flour bags came in prints so the material could be reused for clothing. Was a big deal as the farmer's wife might demand a certain brand because of the pattern on the bag. Today most folks are not content with subsistence farming. They want nice stuff too. Mom ain't going to make sissy's new dress from feed bags. Farmer really isn't any different than a city person. They like new stuff. Cars/trucks, flat screen TV's and surround sound. You can't afford the latest tablet and cell phone for JR, new car for the wife, new truck for you and a prom dress of JRett on 40-50 cows. When we first moved here lot of the local small farmers (10-15 head) didn't even own a TV and there were a lot of 20 year old cars/trucks on the road. The big guys with 30-50 head had new stuff. And the really big BTOs (100-200) head were living large.

And the guys that claim that their kids are OK with having little compared compared to their peer group? Your kids will be the ones picking your nursing home.....😱🤣

Actually the as I call them, the "haves" really lord it over the "have nots". Anyone who believes that kids don't bully anymore needs to have their heads examined. They bully. They just do it where they don't think an adult is going to see it.

This stuff has an effect on the small farm. Ain't just prices. People like leisure time too. All these folks who claim the bad old days were better? Well they should read the studies. 100 years ago the average person spent most of their waking day doing things that had to do with survival. If they were not at work they were cutting fire wood or stacking coal against the coming winter or tending garden and canning. Making house repairs, mending/making clothing, cooking and every other little thing that had to be done to survive. Studies indicate that in 1900 the average person had a few hours a week of leisure time. Today it's more like several hours a day. Even with livestock to care for the farmer would like to have several hours a day like that too. Or the freedom from animal husbandry to take a 2 week vacation. So the small farmer only thinks about vacations and leisure time. And that doesn't make him better. Cause if need be most of the city guys would go back to subsistence living if that's what it took to survive. 

Rick

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There is so much bs in the main stream news it's hard to believe anything they say.  Ny times, wash post, I just assume every thing they put out is either half the story or completely false.  Any thing to make this administration look bad is their agenda.

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No matter what size, profitability is the key to success, period . 

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1 minute ago, bitty said:

No matter what size, profitability is the key to success, period . 

This.  

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1 hour ago, bitty said:

No matter what size, profitability is the key to success, period . 

But the get big ideas are pushed from the “experts “. Those experts are the ones determining the direction of dairies. Kids go to college with the idea of returning to the farm- have to grow to accommodate them and their families. With more families not being farm related the chances of these kids marrying into another farm kid is usually slim. Than the spouse has needs, wants and desires. Add in kids in sports or after school activities they need attention too. 

It use to be when school was out for the summer these kids were free to work on the farm. Not anymore, kids are kept busy all summer. There goes the free help to help with the farm.

Adding cows is the simplest solution to accommodate a growing family. Every farmer wants to see their legacy carried on by the next generation but to do that, farms grow. In good times it’s to prepare for the next crisis, in bad times it’s to survive the current crisis.

Everyone wants to be successful. Dairyman are no exception. The trouble is, when a dairy grows there are economies of scale that dictate how big, or more importantly how small that growth is. Put on too few cows and you barely cover your increases in expenses without reaping the benefits of that growth.

Now look at the environmental issues that dairies are being forced to deal with. Some of it by necessity, some of it overreach by the society’s perceived “ pollution “ of the water(s). The bigger the dairy- the bigger the threat and target on that dairy. 

Farmers are their own worse enemies. Simply by trying to be successful.

 

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7 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

But the get big ideas are pushed from the “experts “. Those experts are the ones determining the direction of dairies. Kids go to college with the idea of returning to the farm- have to grow to accommodate them and their families. With more families not being farm related the chances of these kids marrying into another farm kid is usually slim. Than the spouse has needs, wants and desires. Add in kids in sports or after school activities they need attention too. 

It use to be when school was out for the summer these kids were free to work on the farm. Not anymore, kids are kept busy all summer. There goes the free help to help with the farm.

Adding cows is the simplest solution to accommodate a growing family. Every farmer wants to see their legacy carried on by the next generation but to do that, farms grow. In good times it’s to prepare for the next crisis, in bad times it’s to survive the current crisis.

Everyone wants to be successful. Dairyman are no exception. The trouble is, when a dairy grows there are economies of scale that dictate how big, or more importantly how small that growth is. Put on too few cows and you barely cover your increases in expenses without reaping the benefits of that growth.

Now look at the environmental issues that dairies are being forced to deal with. Some of it by necessity, some of it overreach by the society’s perceived “ pollution “ of the water(s). The bigger the dairy- the bigger the threat and target on that dairy. 

Farmers are their own worse enemies. Simply by trying to be successful.

 

But you forgot to add in that adding a cow isn't necessarily going to make you more profitable. Should not add that cow or plant that extra acre without first looking to see where supply and demand is. If say supply and demand are pretty balanced right now adding that cow could tip the balance resulting in lower prices.  Kinda like that baker in the town of 200. He sells 200 donuts a day. So he decides to make 210 and at the end of the day has 10 donuts sitting there unsold. Tomorrow he's going to make 200 donuts. And the farmer has to approach it from that angle. 

Plus size matters. A large operation most likely gets some type of volume discount. And you can yell it isn't fair all day. Go buy a new truck. Then find a small company who bought the same truck in a fleet purchase of so 10 trucks. See what they paid per truck. Now go look and see what a company that bought say 500 of them. Large companies get volume discounts that small companies don't get.

Part of the issue faced by farmers today is the fact that for decades people preached that the pathway to success was to up production. Now no one want to face the issue of over production. The politicians like cheap food so they won't address production. The consumer isn't out to hurt production either. And of course the farmer is out there too busy trying to up production to pay attention😉. But because the so called experts keep telling farmers that they need to produce more to be profitable the farmer isn't willing to address it.

 

Rick

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19 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

But you forgot to add in that adding a cow isn't necessarily going to make you more profitable. Should not add that cow or plant that extra acre without first looking to see where supply and demand is. If say supply and demand are pretty balanced right now adding that cow could tip the balance resulting in lower prices.  Kinda like that baker in the town of 200. He sells 200 donuts a day. So he decides to make 210 and at the end of the day has 10 donuts sitting there unsold. Tomorrow he's going to make 200 donuts. And the farmer has to approach it from that angle. 

Plus size matters. A large operation most likely gets some type of volume discount. And you can yell it isn't fair all day. Go buy a new truck. Then find a small company who bought the same truck in a fleet purchase of so 10 trucks. See what they paid per truck. Now go look and see what a company that bought say 500 of them. Large companies get volume discounts that small companies don't get.

Part of the issue faced by farmers today is the fact that for decades people preached that the pathway to success was to up production. Now no one want to face the issue of over production. The politicians like cheap food so they won't address production. The consumer isn't out to hurt production either. And of course the farmer is out there too busy trying to up production to pay attention😉. But because the so called experts keep telling farmers that they need to produce more to be profitable the farmer isn't willing to address it.

 

Rick

If you milk less cows next week then you do this week your mortgage payment is still the same .....

It is getting better return on the money you have invested that drives most expansion. Someone else will make what you don't somewhere else and unfortunately the market shifts to other places otherwise. 

The biggest disadvantage to the dairy producers is the crooked co-ops

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9 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

But you forgot to add in that adding a cow isn't necessarily going to make you more profitable. Should not add that cow or plant that extra acre without first looking to see where supply and demand is. If say supply and demand are pretty balanced right now adding that cow could tip the balance resulting in lower prices.  Kinda like that baker in the town of 200. He sells 200 donuts a day. So he decides to make 210 and at the end of the day has 10 donuts sitting there unsold. Tomorrow he's going to make 200 donuts. And the farmer has to approach it from that angle. 

Plus size matters. A large operation most likely gets some type of volume discount. And you can yell it isn't fair all day. Go buy a new truck. Then find a small company who bought the same truck in a fleet purchase of so 10 trucks. See what they paid per truck. Now go look and see what a company that bought say 500 of them. Large companies get volume discounts that small companies don't get.

Part of the issue faced by farmers today is the fact that for decades people preached that the pathway to success was to up production. Now no one want to face the issue of over production. The politicians like cheap food so they won't address production. The consumer isn't out to hurt production either. And of course the farmer is out there too busy trying to up production to pay attention😉. But because the so called experts keep telling farmers that they need to produce more to be profitable the farmer isn't willing to address it.

 

Rick

I didn’t forget that. The idea that adding cows/ production is the simplest way to increase revenue. In down times that’s what happens, increases in production and hopefully it’s enough to get you through the low prices. 

You're forgetting, with dairy, that farmers are price takers. There are a few ways to increase your prices, but the one that often wins out, increase your market share while decreasing your cost of production. 

What I don’t like is the farmers that don’t increase are actually hurt by the guys that do- farmer A has equity in the cooperative- cooperative says we are at capacity and can’t take more milk. Farmer B comes along- same cooperative, and says we’re increasing production- will you take it? The cooperative 9 times out of 10 will take it.  Who’s on the losing end- farmer A’s milk prices just went down because of this overproduction. That’s how I see it. Farmer B took that capacity that farmer A had paid for in dues and marketing fees, etc. The cooperative wins because now they’re costs are usually lower with larger producers. Farmer B wins because they’ve lowered their costs while increasing their revenue. 

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2 minutes ago, bitty said:

If you milk less cows next week then you do this week your mortgage payment is still the same .....

It is getting better return on the money you have invested that drives most expansion. Someone else will make what you don't somewhere else and unfortunately the market shifts to other places otherwise. 

The biggest disadvantage to the dairy producers is the crooked co-ops

I’m not going to argue against the cooperative being crooked, but they’re certainly not living up to the responsibility and obligations that dairy farmers have placed in them. 

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Revenue,cash flow,production don't mean squat. Profit is what keeps the farm under your feet. If you can go from 400 cows to grazing 100 cows simply by fencing the place and parking(and not replacing) a bunch of worn out equipment you should. P!Ss on everyone else. You have to make a profit first. To many Farmers are making money for everyone but themselves.

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35 minutes ago, bitty said:

If you milk less cows next week then you do this week your mortgage payment is still the same .....

It is getting better return on the money you have invested that drives most expansion. Someone else will make what you don't somewhere else and unfortunately the market shifts to other places otherwise. 

The biggest disadvantage to the dairy producers is the crooked co-ops

Still doesn't matter guys. The issues are the same. Don't matter what you produce. If you produce more than the market needs you wind up getting less money. Reduce production across the board and you make more per unit, in the case of milk per 100. No The market won't fix itself overnight. And the consumer isn't to pay more for milk either if they can help it. But until someone gets it figured out it's going to continue to be an issue. And it's not just milk. It's any commodity where the buyer sets the price. Corn, beans, oats and wheat included. Sure a guy can contract a grain crop but basically the buyer is paying the farmer to store it until a certain date.

GM doesn't run a line full tilt 24/7/365 unless the demand is there. Compaq computers overproduced one year. The following year HP bought em out.

Now I'm a big believer in free markets. But about the only way to make this work right now IMO is if the feds stick their noses in here and mandate quotes. Looks to me like an 80 cow dairy closes 10 small guys add 20 cows each and at lest one BTO adds 100. Darn ole tail is wagging the dog.

Rick

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23 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

Still doesn't matter guys. The issues are the same. Don't matter what you produce. If you produce more than the market needs you wind up getting less money. Reduce production across the board and you make more per unit, in the case of milk per 100. No The market won't fix itself overnight. And the consumer isn't to pay more for milk either if they can help it. But until someone gets it figured out it's going to continue to be an issue. And it's not just milk. It's any commodity where the buyer sets the price. Corn, beans, oats and wheat included. Sure a guy can contract a grain crop but basically the buyer is paying the farmer to store it until a certain date.

GM doesn't run a line full tilt 24/7/365 unless the demand is there. Compaq computers overproduced one year. The following year HP bought em out.

Now I'm a big believer in free markets. But about the only way to make this work right now IMO is if the feds stick their noses in here and mandate quotes. Looks to me like an 80 cow dairy closes 10 small guys add 20 cows each and at lest one BTO adds 100. Darn ole tail is wagging the dog.

Rick

Our milk co-op has quotas in place in all their regions.

Milking cows has few similarities to making cars 

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Well rick if what you’re saying about supply an demand is true, then when co ops were supposedly dumping milk because of excess, shouldn’t milk have been under $2 a gallon in the store? We never seen less then $3.90 a gallon at the store. Co ops are NOT operating for the members. Just fixed a tire for a guy that was showing me papers how DFA is involved with the almond juice, I refuse to call it milk because it’s not! Taking their members money an using it against them! I wish every day I was still milking , but I don’t a second of the day that I miss the bs the milk companies fed me. 
I might add to that the milk in the store was processed by them too, Weis markets.

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11 minutes ago, IH 986 said:

Well rick if what you’re saying about supply an demand is true, then when co ops were supposedly dumping milk because of excess, shouldn’t milk have been under $2 a gallon in the store? We never seen less then $3.90 a gallon at the store. Co ops are NOT operating for the members. Just fixed a tire for a guy that was showing me papers how DFA is involved with the almond juice, I refuse to call it milk because it’s not! Taking their members money an using it against them! I wish every day I was still milking , but I don’t a second of the day that I miss the bs the milk companies fed me. 
I might add to that the milk in the store was processed by them too, Weis markets.

Sad part is in PA there is a State minimum price for the consumer at the store. It should be really cheap for the consumer when the producer price is low . Middle man making the killing there 

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1 hour ago, IH 986 said:

Well rick if what you’re saying about supply an demand is true, then when co ops were supposedly dumping milk because of excess, shouldn’t milk have been under $2 a gallon in the store? We never seen less then $3.90 a gallon at the store. Co ops are NOT operating for the members. Just fixed a tire for a guy that was showing me papers how DFA is involved with the almond juice, I refuse to call it milk because it’s not! Taking their members money an using it against them! I wish every day I was still milking , but I don’t a second of the day that I miss the bs the milk companies fed me. 
I might add to that the milk in the store was processed by them too, Weis markets.

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t miss being a dairy farmer. But I can’t take the BS anymore 

1 hour ago, bitty said:

Sad part is in PA there is a State minimum price for the consumer at the store. It should be really cheap for the consumer when the producer price is low . Middle man making the killing there 

Price fixing.

Rick talks about supply and demand controlling the market. Not this market. 

Cooperatives are the handlers of milk. Processing the fluid milk into various products for market and or selling those to other manufacturers to further process it. 

Like it or not dairy farmers have NO control of that product once it’s on the truck or at the plant. We can’t store the milk, unlike grains, it’s perishable. 

Now manufacturers have control. They bought the milk at market prices, the also set the consumer prices. Here in VT, if you want whole milk- $3.59-$4.29 a gallon. 

With all the talk and protests of anti -dairy , and the onslaught of oils being passed off as dairy substitutes, why haven’t these consumer prices coming down? After all- it’s supply and demand.... yea right. These prices are set, maybe not nationwide but regional.

Than let’s talk about powdered milk, butter, ice cream, yogurts, etc. etc. Why did they stop 1/2 gallons of ice cream and went to 1-1/2 quarts? Consumption? Than why not lower the prices?That extra 1/2 a quart adds up over a day, week, month or year. 

The dairy industry needs an insurgence of fresh ideas from the bottom up. Consumers are demanding it. We need more control of our products and the legal tools to protect those markets. We need aggressive advertising and pushing new innovations into the markets. Dairy has been “out to pasture” when it came to defending our products. 

As much as I miss this industry, until dairy pulls their proverbial head out of it’s butt, it’s going to continue to shrink. Unfortunately.

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7 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t miss being a dairy farmer. But I can’t take the BS anymore 

Price fixing.

Rick talks about supply and demand controlling the market. Not this market. 

Cooperatives are the handlers of milk. Processing the fluid milk into various products for market and or selling those to other manufacturers to further process it. 

Like it or not dairy farmers have NO control of that product once it’s on the truck or at the plant. We can’t store the milk, unlike grains, it’s perishable. 

Now manufacturers have control. They bought the milk at market prices, the also set the consumer prices. Here in VT, if you want whole milk- $3.59-$4.29 a gallon. 

With all the talk and protests of anti -dairy , and the onslaught of oils being passed off as dairy substitutes, why haven’t these consumer prices coming down? After all- it’s supply and demand.... yea right. These prices are set, maybe not nationwide but regional.

Than let’s talk about powdered milk, butter, ice cream, yogurts, etc. etc. Why did they stop 1/2 gallons of ice cream and went to 1-1/2 quarts? Consumption? Than why not lower the prices?That extra 1/2 a quart adds up over a day, week, month or year. 

The dairy industry needs an insurgence of fresh ideas from the bottom up. Consumers are demanding it. We need more control of our products and the legal tools to protect those markets. We need aggressive advertising and pushing new innovations into the markets. Dairy has been “out to pasture” when it came to defending our products. 

As much as I miss this industry, until dairy pulls their proverbial head out of it’s butt, it’s going to continue to shrink. Unfortunately.

Supply is easily manipulated , route I was on would go to Carlisle on certain days but just for load out. What that meant was that truck load of milk was unloaded, metered an tested an “received”, tri axle so 50,000lbs , taken out of the receiving silo an put on another truck an sent to Georgia to another processing plant. Again metered as received an processed. Had a heated discussion with some board members(I was a delegate for my region) that how easy it is to double the amount of milk just by adding the pounds received at a processing plant when the same milk was counted twice at 2 different plants.  Carlisle 50,000lbs ,sent too Georgia 50,000lbs now on paper you have 100,000lbs. That’s just one load of milk, think about all of the loads of milk that that happens too. As mad as some got I know I hit something that I wasn’t suppose to question. Last time I was asked to be a delegate too

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41 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

 

As much as I miss this industry, until dairy pulls their proverbial head out of it’s butt, it’s going to continue to shrink. Unfortunately.

I personally think other issues will cause the supply to drop, it just might take awhile to do it, in the mean time this shrinkage will rid the system of facilities, genetics, and most important human knowledge and everyone will be questioning how everything happened, why is there no milk, and how do we get out of it.   I am one of the few people who liked milking a small herd 2x a day in a tie stall barn, but I sure am glad I didn't follow that carrot down the rabbit hole for a career path when I could have and it made more sense.  My dad always said its way more fun farming with money than for it, he was right.

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22 minutes ago, IH 986 said:

Supply is easily manipulated , route I was on would go to Carlisle on certain days but just for load out. What that meant was that truck load of milk was unloaded, metered an tested an “received”, tri axle so 50,000lbs , taken out of the receiving silo an put on another truck an sent to Georgia to another processing plant. Again metered as received an processed. Had a heated discussion with some board members(I was a delegate for my region) that how easy it is to double the amount of milk just by adding the pounds received at a processing plant when the same milk was counted twice at 2 different plants.  Carlisle 50,000lbs ,sent too Georgia 50,000lbs now on paper you have 100,000lbs. That’s just one load of milk, think about all of the loads of milk that that happens too. As mad as some got I know I hit something that I wasn’t suppose to question. Last time I was asked to be a delegate too

Market manipulation. Then these numbers are used in the official reports that says monthly production was xx pounds. It’s a shell game 

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11 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

I personally think other issues will cause the supply to drop, it just might take awhile to do it, in the mean time this shrinkage will rid the system of facilities, genetics, and most important human knowledge and everyone will be questioning how everything happened, why is there no milk, and how do we get out of it.   I am one of the few people who liked milking a small herd 2x a day in a tie stall barn, but I sure am glad I didn't follow that carrot down the rabbit hole for a career path when I could have and it made more sense.  My dad always said its way more fun farming with money than for it, he was right.

Tie stall barns. The essence of hands-on farming. I loved my tie-stall barn. 

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1 minute ago, Ihfan4life said:

Market manipulation. Then these numbers are used in the official reports that says monthly production was xx pounds. It’s a shell game 

Do you remember when kraft cheese would all of a sudden find a million lbs of cheese in a warehouse they forgot they had. That’s when MW was the price setter.

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IS there some price fixing? I'm sure there is. But right now there is no shortage of milk either. Most farm commonalities are the same way. When there is a shortage milk goes up as does grain or livestock. When you produce more than is consumed then the price tanks. It's really that simple. Are the processors making bank? Sure they are. And the farmer is playing right into their hands. They know a farmer can't take that milt directly from that cow and sell it to a store. They helped get the laws governing that passed. So like any other farmer you have a limited market to sell to. In the case of dairy to a processor that buys dairy. Grain? To a processor or elevator and so on. So the buyer had the farmer over the barrel. And in part the problem is every time prices go up farmers as a whole increase production. So while there may be some market manipulation the farmer is NEVER going to get out of this until they accept at least some of the responsibility. Kinda like that ole drunk. Can't fix anything until you accept that you are part of the problem. 

The sad truth to it is the small farm is dead. Making it on 200 acres and 20 cows is a pipe dream. As I said before, people want things. Most are not OK with barely squeaking by. So the whole subsistence farming things is long dead. They want that new car, flat screen TV and latest Xbox. So the little guy works off farm and farms on the side. Or the spouse works in town to help pay the bills. You are in a situation where if you don't grow you are never going to make good money at it and have the farm as a sole source to support yourself and family with all the things people want today. Really tuff for the younger crowd. But the idea of a start up operation? You better be willing to go very deep in debt. It's a thing of the past for the most part. You can sit here and complain about it all day. But times changed. People today are for the most part unwilling to do without. So most are going to be unwilling to make the sacrifices needed.

I know of 3 or 4 small dairies that have folded in just the last year. Old guy milking 80 retired, nephew milking 50 got rid of the dairy. Just wasn't making enough to justify the costs. He's still cropping nearly 1200 acres and running 150 head of beef. At least one the bank shut down, was milking about 80. Kinda figured that guy was going to fail. Hired too much help, had to have newer equipment. Just too much debt load. As the wise man said, at the end of the day you gotta make a profit. Which means it isn't a life style. It's a business and has to be treated like one.

 

Rick

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1 hour ago, TP from Central PA said:

 this shrinkage will rid the system of facilities, genetics, and most important human knowledge 

I was thinking of that same point myself. Fewer and fewer farms means the loss of infrastructure. It happened where I live, when my dad milked cows 50+ years ago there were hundreds of small farms around the county, Probably a dozen or so small cheese factories, a handful of equipment dealers and so on. Over the years the number of small farms goes down and so does the infrastructure that supports that industry. Today there is the same number of cows in the county, they are on only a dozen farms that I can think of. The milk is trucked two hours away, the nearest major farm equipment dealer is over an hour away.

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was also at the vet supply store on Friday got talking to the owner, he said this will turn and in a year there will be a cattle shortage,  wasn't too long ago Holstein cross bull calves were at 300 and higher, well guys are breeding 3 quarters of their herd to beef bulls , that took care of the high priced bull calves, heifer calves? asked neifgbor who works at stock yard, what happens to all these 10 dollar heifer calves. I don't think they return to the country,

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