While there is a drive to become ever more efficient in all types of agriculture, there becomes a point where bigger is not necessarily better. Whether it be livestock or arable, sheep, cattle or pigs, getting the right level of stock and equipment for your own business can make a big difference. Getting the “goldilocks effect” on your outputs, being “just right” for your own system can be the key.
Pigs and Poultry
A number of things affect the pig and poultry industry looking to increase, and with the margin being so tight, getting the right feed costs, minimising the unproductive time in the animal rotation cycle and also waste disposal can limit the benefits of increasing. The cost of additional accommodation, or free range land area must also be carefully considered. Ensuring you have an available market at a price to at least cover the cost of production is also a key consideration, after all, there would be little to gain if the increase meant selling the additional product for less than or equal to the cost of production, unless it made the original operation more efficient and there was additional margin available on that proportion. Forward contracts, both on the sales and purchased feeds can be of use for stability, however, markets do fall and rise, so it may be after the event that the positive or negative impact can manifest itself.
Bigger is not always better, it is simply another way of farming the land available, problems are not necessarily larger, but management of the issues, good or bad, that face you as a business owner may define your business moving forward! Standing still is not always a step backwards, and careful consideration should always be made when considering changing the scale of your operation.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, then please do not hesitate in contacting either Will Robinson at Carlisle on 01228 534371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or one of the Agricultural Team spread right across Cumbria & South West Scotland.