Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
[ Member listing ]

Hog Farmers and Pork Lovers - Hang On!

The writing is on the wall. Meat prices in general will be trending up with pork and chicken leading the way.

The drought across the corn belt has raised grain prices to the point many farmers are unable to stay in business.

I recently saw an article on AgWeb titled Pork Producers Enter 'Survival Mode'.

The article cited a loss of $57 per pig. While many of these large farms will ride out the bad market with operating loans etc, the small farmer is going to have to make some decisions.

I realize most small, sustainable type farms don't necessarily sell at commodity prices, however the feed cost is normally higher and they are working with smaller numbers of animals.

Another article sent to me titled bacon, pork shortage 'Unavoidable' points out that as hog herds shrink across the world prices will have to go up. They went as far as saying it was possible that shelves would be bare of certain pork products and prices could double.

What does this mean to you?

If you currently buy your meat products from a small farm, prices will have to increase. I predict many small farms that have been filling hog feeders with feed from the local mill with little or no thought to the financial situation currently in play will be out of business or at the least scaling back...big time.

I have been watching the sale barns here in Ohio and it's staggering the amount of "small farm hogs" that are going through. These aren't pigs from confinement operations, these are one and two sows, half grown market hogs, feeder pigs, you name it they are leaving the farm.

That tells me pigs are going to be in short supply for the Spring of 2013.

I've said for years that the time to get better is when things are good. That's why way back when corn was under $2 a bushel here at Spring Hill Farms we were busy developing a line of pigs that weren't dependent on a feeder full of feed.

At the same time we were looking at ways to minimize our dependence on outside inputs. I'm glad we did it then and not now. For some farms, it may be too late.

Until next time....


 

 

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More Land - More Grain

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More Acres
Source: Congressman Devin Nunes


Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and 25 of his House colleagues called on President Barack Obama to release willing farmers from their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts in order to produce additional grain. With Americans facing rising food prices and government officials predicting the possibility of grain shortages, immediate action is necessary to enhance U.S. production. (see letter here)   “Americans deserve a government that plans for the future. That means responding to threats of grain shortages, not just predicting them. Releasing some land from CRP contract will provide an infusion of additional production that is desperately needed. It’s a decision the President can make and one he should act upon as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Devin Nunes.  

Record Production / Falling Stocks In 2011, grain production in the United States is expected to cover 92 million acres – one of the largest plantings in more than 50 years. Yet despite this enormous production, domestic supplies of grains are falling at the fastest rate ever recorded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).   Meanwhile, U.S. consumer food prices (for proteins) have risen by 6.8% in the past year, more than triple inflation. The costs of staple commodities are rising at an alarming rate, threatening the weakened U.S. economy but also pushing struggling families beyond their limits.  

Real Shortages Global demand for grains has soared and various national and international agencies are predicting that shortages are likely. As a result, many nations are stockpiling reserves. Throughout Asia and the developing world, governments are working to establish significant reserves. It is time for the U.S. government to recognize the crisis and take action.   Action Congressman Nunes and his colleagues believe it is essential for the President to act. The USDA can promote increased grain production by releasing willing farmers of arable land from the Conservation Reserve Program. There are 32 million acres currently out of production under CRP contracts. A significant amount of this land could be used to produce crops.


Thanks to Agweb for this article.


 

 
 

How To Opt Out of a Food Shortage

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I posted back in January What does 2011 Hold and Five Steps You Should Take.

Since then fuel prices have continued to go up. Grain prices are up, and food prices continue to rise.




Fuel (diesel) has just now reached $4 a gal here in my part of Ohio. $4.05 to be exact.

The world's best real estate investor, Sam Zell, told CNBC last week: "My single biggest financial concern is the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency... I think you could see a 25% reduction in the standard of living in this country if the U.S. dollar was no longer the world's reserve currency."

Folks don't bury your head in the sand.

"A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered." - Proverbs 27:12 The Message


Of the five steps I outlined previously, I want to focus on one that I feel is so important that I'm going to say this:

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not do this.

If you only take action on one tip, do this:

PLANT A GARDEN.

The most basic, fundamental, insurance policy for your family is to provide food for them. Start planning now.

If you think about it there is no downside to planting a garden. If I'm crazy (along with some the most informed, wealthy people in this country) then the worst thing that happens is you have some good, fresh, food to feed your family.

But if things continue to decline - not just in our economy, but worldwide unrest seems to be getting more prevalent.

Then throw in some natural disasters.

Can you imagine a disruption in our oil imports? If we think $4 -$5 a gallon is expensive for fuel....

And the real question is how much of your monthly budget can you spend for fuel and food while still meeting your current obligations?

My friend it is time to wake up! Get out your pen and paper and figure out where, when, and how you're going to plant a garden!

I recently went on the hunt for some good solid information on small garden "how to." I wanted to see if I could point you in the right direction while you were reading this and take all the excuses away!


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High Density Gardening
I'm a big believer in intense gardening. I grew up with the typical huge garden that you see on most farms of that time.

We spent hours weeding, hoeing, having a roto-tiller beat us to death, hilling up potatoes, and generally working the garden.


With my schedule I don't have much time to spend in a garden. I bet your schedule is like mine. Ric, the author of High Density Gardening has got it figured out.

He covers everything from A to Z in this ebook.

  • How to plan your High Density Garden in order that you can maximize the quantity of crops you can grow
  • How to build a High Density Gardening bed
  • How to propagate seeds
  • Home made compost. How to make it quickly.
  • Much more

And the best part- You can download it and be reading it within the next 5 minutes.

I'm no stranger to gardening and I was impressed with this book. His writing style is refreshing and he knows his stuff. I'm already planning some changes to my gardening and I'm excited!

No more excuses! Get your mind made up to plant a garden this year. Don't wait until you discover the economy or food prices have killed your budget. Do something now! When a friend is talking about how much produce has gone up at the store wouldn't you rather be telling them you haven't bought much produce since you started your High Density garden?

Or how about this - you offer them some of your garden produce at a better price than the local grocery store because you have so much!

Until next time!


 

 
 

Love Your Farmer? Make a Call Today

PictureLet's make sure we level the playing field for farmers in America. For too  long the big players have danced around the laws to keep the smaller producers at a disadvantage. Here's our chance to stop it.

I just received this email from the Center for Rural Affairs.


Do you appreciate the hard work that our family farmers and ranchers do?

If so, please take a few moments of your day this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to call the White House and tell President Obama that you support the proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule [PDF] that helps independent farmers and ranchers get a fair price for their hard work. (It's also called the "GIPSA rule".)

On February 14, 15 and 16 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, hundreds will participate in “Love the American Farmer and Rancher” call in day because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule would greatly benefit livestock producers across the country. However, the meatpackers and processors have pushed back against the rule, spreading false information to protect their own greedy bottom line.

You can help!

  • Call 202-456-1111 to reach the White House Comment Line (you may need to call back if the line is busy)
  • Share the message below (or something similar)
  • "My name is _______ from _________ (city and/or state) calling in support of USDA’s proposed livestock rule. This rule would level the playing field for livestock producers. Livestock producers need this rule finalized to protect them from retaliation and level the playing field. I encourage USDA to finish and implement the GIPSA proposed rule as quickly as possible. Thank you."

For more information on issues related to fair competition in livestock, go to www.cfra.org/competition. Thank you for supporting independent livestock farmers and ranchers!

You can also go to the Food and Water Watch website and use their automated form.

 


 

 

 
 
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