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potatoman 1

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About potatoman 1

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  1. The petition was mentioned briefly this morning at about 8 am on the bbc 1 news, saying how its the most popular petition on the website at the moment.
  2. Id save some money by sacking 3/4 of the staff in council offices who are on high wages for doing nothing of use. The remaining 1/4 I would reduce to minimum wage status. I would also remove , totally, all forms of cash bennefits for families that dont work. Give them a few netto food vouchers instead. Id give some of the money saved to the pensioners, who have done their bit for the country and deserve a better deal.
  3. Potatoes are nearing the end of the season, which is often the most expensive time to buy them. This year, however, tons of potatoes are still on farm, and many wont sell atall. The average price in my area has been easing for some weeks now, so there is no sound reason for them to go up in price atall at the moment The coming season is another matter. Reduced plantings, very dry weather etc. could lead to higher prices all season.
  4. This country could be a lot more self sufficient with food than what we actually are. Its the attidude of ill informed people like you that prevent this. Instead of calling me names, try running a few facts and figures past me, the we ll see who s thick.
  5. I dont agree with that atall. In the mid 70 s the minimum wage for a farmworker was slightly above £1 per hour. Now it is nearly 6 times that ammount. The ones who still have jobs in the industry are much better off in real terms than ever before. The problem is though, there are very few jobs left. Because our wages went up so much, all the labour intensive crops that were grown here are now imported from abroad, or produced with massive machinery needing little labour.
  6. If you want my advice for what its worth, I would buy some good quality agricultural land. Over the years, its value will fluctuate up and down, but it will always be there. You will always be able to rent it out and earn an income from it, but this will also fluctuate up and down over the years depending on the margins on crops at that time.
  7. Your certainly right about a handful of farmers producing food for 1000 s of people. Although I am a member of that "handful" I am on a much smaller scale than most. Despite that my wife and I can still produce enough food to feed a small town, without any outside labour. I dont like the way this has become, I would love to return to the days of an army of people helping us in the fields. The problem is that at times we barely make enough to cover our own existence, let alone anyone elses. If we were paid the minimum wage for our efforts we would feel very much better off than we are now. Food inflation cant come soon enough for us, though in reality Im sure only the retailers of the food will bennefit.
  8. Allotments are fine and I agree with the idea in principal, but most are not very efficient in producing food Im afraid to say. If a field of say 10 acres was farmed by a single grower of average ability, it would produce far more tons of produce than dividing it up ito allotments would ever produce. They would be a good thing for those that have them, but wouldnt feed anyone else.
  9. With the value of the £ as low as it is, producing our own food in the UK has never been as important as it is now, as cheap imported food becomes a thing of the past. This year has seen the highest imputs into the crops that there has been in living memory. Whilst this doesnt always mean that the price will be higher at harvest it will certainly help. We have had no significant rainfall here in the last month, and crops in my area (Yorkshire) are showing signs of this. I dont think there will be a reduction in the area planted though, as compulsary set aside has been abolished, but the yield potential of many crops will be reduced if the dry weather continues. Water companies will be already concerned about it in some areas i suspect. They have the power to revoke irrigation licenses from farmers if supplies of water become tight. This action, if enforced, would send prices for potatoes and vegetables through the roof. In the drought of 1976 at a time when there was little irrigation used in the UK, potato prices peaked at £8 for a 25kg bag, at a time when the minimum wage in agriculture was a little over £1 per hour. Imagine having to live with the modern comparable price of that. I would convert that to about £50 for a 25kg bag. The other major influence on fresh food prices are, of course the supermarkets. They have the ability to create food inflation whilst produce is been dumped on farms. These huge supermarket chains have been expanded whilst a lot of "tempory " money was in the economy. It will be interesting to see how they fare this year. If they had just stuck to selling basic food items and essentials they would have been ok, but they have expanded ito so many non essential lines that will finish up not selling as money gets tighter. It doesnt take a genius to work out that the losses on the non essential items will have to be covered by greater profits on essentials like food etc. To sum up then, the chances of food price rises to the consumer during 2009/2010 are very high and if the dry weather continues severe food inflation is possible.
  10. You can certainly replace it with sewage sludge, but you would get a much lighter crop. Sewedge sludge also contains a lot of heavy metals , which can build up over the years if it is used continually in the same fields. A balanced combination of both fertiliser and manure gives the best results. Good old fashioned cow manure is still good for crops, but recent regulations from the enviroment agency limit your application rates, which is ridiculous. They claim if you apply more than their reccomended rates, it risks leaching into watercourse.
  11. Ive bought my potato fertiliser 2 weeks ago. It cost me a staggering £435/ton. Pre 2007 the price for the same product was £155/ton. The price has eased a little since the heights of last year, but still has a long way to go. Over the years Ive found the price of food bears little relation to the cost of production and is relevent to the supply and demand at the time you choose to sell. I cant see us getting cheaper food this year if the exchange rate stays where it is, as much of our food is imported.
  12. Do they still fail to include auction prices in their figures ??
  13. Ive often been ridiculed by my friends for suggesting, back in 2006 that a particular house in the area priced at £450,000 would have a nought taken off the end before long. I honestly still believe this will happen, as there are now so many factors in place to make it. I feel that the minimum wage will have to be slashed to clear the dole queues and will have to be at a level where we can compete with China and India, so below £2 per hour. That equates to about £4000 per year. The prices of average houses will have to be affordable to people who earn this, so in this situation a house at say £15,000 would seem possible.
  14. Im on my 3rd LDV van, which is now 6 years old. Ihave bought them all brand new. I wanted to get another new one a few months ago, but found the local dealership unwilling to provide me with any discount atall for paying cash, so Im going to run my existing one for another year. Also last week my friend wanted a 2nd hand van. I mentioned it to the local dealership again and the said they would fax a few details of ones they had in. They didnt even bother to do this, so he bought one elsewhere. Is it any wonder they went bust with dealerships acting like this.
  15. I managed to buy some land 2 years ago within a few hundred yards of 3 main supermarkets near where i live. On this Ive recently built a large potato store (on agricultural planning of course). Ive looked into the rules and regulations involved with selling your own produce on your own land. As far as i can see it I can sell my own produce directly outside the building on a mobile stall with little in the way of planning permission. This is what i intend to do later this year. Not another of these over-priced farm shops that have sprung up all over the place, but a stack it up and sell it cheap sort of idea. I feel its time that farmers and growers "take the gloves off" to the supermakets.
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