Rising Feed Costs

“The problem of rising livestock feed costs will get worse unless new American genetically modified maizes are authorised quickly for use in the EU, said Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Mary Coughlan in the Dáil last week.” The Irish Examiner – Farming Section

This is just one of the thing that bothers me about world trade at the moment. We are not all on an even keel to be honest. The price of maize on this side of the Atlantic is more than double that in the US because of interfering politics like mentioned the in article.

So it is going to affect us in other ways too. Huge increases in costs mean that profits can be wiped out all too quickly, but what is happening now too is that with increases in milk price, people are feeding more inputs to their cows, thus diminishing world stocks … pushing the price ever higher. It’s a vicious circle.

If you don’t already know, world grain stocks are nearly empty at this stage. For the last five or six years, the world has been consuming more that it has been producing in term of grain … thus any buffer supplies around the world have all but disappeared. Reasons for this are drought, disease, climate change, poor prices to producers in the bread baskets of the world… and also an ever increasing world population.

Personally, as I think I have mentioned before, I do not want to see GM product coming into this country, because we need to raise value in what we sell, and GM products have not been tested over the long term how they affect people. All may be very well for years, until some day scientists discover that a link between it and an increased risk of bowel cancer … or something like that. But that is being a little sensational to be honest. Really, I just prefer things to be as natural as possible. GM has benefits, but it also has it’s own problems with stronger weeds, reduced insect populations etc etc. hmmm, I will write something more on GM in the future, when I get my thoughts together on the subject

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5 comments so far

  1. Laurie on

    make no mistake, a lot of people here don’t like genetically modified food, either, even though the stuff is really pushed on us.

    japan, i believe, won’t allow the stuff in the country.

  2. CowDungHands on

    I’m sure that a lot of people in the US don’t like the GM food. The problem is that it’s big business that dictates politics, and the huge food companies like Monsanto etc that push and push. Eventually they saturate the market and you no longer have a choice. Even organic food has been found to be cross-pollinated by the GM plants. It is a shame.
    It is happening here too. Big food companies are pushing all the time to get their GM varieties approved here.
    A few shipments of “Non GM” maize has been found to be containing a certain percentage of GM grain. Those shiploads were stopped at the ports and sent back to the US, so no-one is willing to import anything chancy into the EU any more.
    The whole sad story just makes me sad, but I will write an article on the whole topic some time … or maybe I will write a sequence of articles on my thoughts…. and the thoughts of other farmers around here. It is actually quite interesting to hear the different opinions here.

  3. laurie on

    yes, i’ve heard about that contamination. wind blows the seed, right? and the wrong stuff ends up growing in the organic fields?

  4. rough hands on

    Yes, that’s correct. But the farmer doesn’t know it’s contaminated, until tests reveal it.
    It brings to mind a case in Canada i read a while back where a farmer was sued by Cargill (I think as my details are sketchy now) for selling a grain variety they had registered as their own GM variety, and for which he did not have a licence to grow or sell. The fact that he hadn’t bought grain for 30 years (he home saved all the time), or that he was organic didn’t seem to bother them one bit.
    It’s a strange world we live in.

  5. rough hands on

    Shane Morris left a comment in the About page, but it’s more relevant here I think. I suppose I’m not totally against GM to be honest, but I have a problem with the fact that examples of it are really is untested in the real world over a long period of time. So we don’t know what we are possibly doing to ourselves.
    Genetic modifications happen all the time in the natural world as plants and animals strive to constantly adapt to their environment. But the genetic changes that are happening seem like huge steps all at once, and sometimes the ecosystem is breaking down.
    Oh, I have a lot to write on the subject, but I suppose I’d need to write a book on the subject!


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