Published On: Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015

The Biggest Threats Farmers Are Facing In 2015

Two months ago, dairy farmers in the UK finally took action against the continuous dropping of milk prices. In August, farmers seemed happy that they had reached an agreement with ministers on how to save the dairy industry. But is the farming industry facing big issues as a whole and what are the solutions?

soybeans

Farmers in the UK have been worried about the low cost that their products are being sold at for some time. The lower the price the product is sold at in the store, the less the farmer receives at the end of the year. Some, are very lucky to break even and continue staying in business. Yes, the situation is that dire, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

No Interest

The farming business, or what it once was, is constantly under threat of collapsing completely. One of the biggest reasons for this has nothing to do with superstores and the price that they sell the products at. It’s more to do with how many people are interested in farming. It’s becoming clear that there is a definite void when you look at how many people are coming out of school and studying agriculture. Most choose one of the top three careers: law, medicine or business management. Others, well, a career in farming never even crosses their mind.

Why is this? It certainly can’t help that every year there is another news story on how farmers are failing to make a substantial living. These days, it’s just become too much of a challenge to make the farming business profitable.

High Costs

High costs have made it difficult for farmers to manage their business, and they’ve had to make cutbacks. It’s left many people in the UK asking one question. Where have the cows gone? Driving in the countryside, you used to see fields dotted with black and white cows. Now they’ve vanished. Farmers are adopting intensive farming methods that have low costs and higher profitability. Animals like cows are now kept inside in sheds or barns 365 days a year in intensive farms. What does this mean? Well it certainly raises the question of whether farming has become less humane. But the fact is, farmers have no choice. They’ve got to cut the costs and, unfortunately, it’s going to be the animals that take the brunt of it.

Other farmers are branching out into more profitable areas of farming. If you own a plot of land with some forestry, it might be time to think about how you can harvest the wood. All it takes is having the right arborist gear, the proper qualifications and you will have another source of income for your farm. But this then raises the question of environmental damage. If farmers don’t look after tree plantations correctly, we could face bigger problems.

Lost Labour

Farms across the country are cutting back their labour numbers and opting for machines instead. It’s not the only industry that’s doing this, but it’s certainly the one that’s most shocking. Unlike other industries, farming often involves the treatment and use of animals. Now these animals receive very little contact from humans. Instead, most of their lives they are handled and managed by machines. It might seem cruel but again, it is the only option.

An overpopulated world needs a bigger food source. Farmers can’t afford to hire huge numbers of workers, so cheap machinery isn’t the ideal solution, it’s just the only one available.

It seems clear that there are a lot of big problems the farming business will face in the years to come. Milk prices are only the beginning.

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