Re: excess supply hogs
Greg & Lei Gunthorp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sun, 11 Oct 1998 23:24:28 -0500
Could you please elaborate on your statement some more?
Are you saying that tofu(soybeans) are a better choice than pastured hogs?
I'm not understanding the math here. If we assume an excellent yield. 60
bushels this year would get me $300/acre before expenses. I have 50
tillable acres and close to that many untillable. $15,000 BEFORE EXPENSES.
I think it takes some where in the $100,000 gross for me to attempt to
support my family entirely off the farm. I'm not going to have anything more
than a nice hobby on 50 acres of soybeans and there isn't any way I could
raise soybeans without a rotation. Corn right now won't even gross those
I was looking over an interesting 1994 study today from ERS that showed a
US map of counties that over 40% of all farms in that county were commercial
farms($50,000 gross by USDA definition). It was interesting to look at the
next US map showing average farm sales per acre. There was a good
correlation to counties with small "non" commercial farmes and the highest
gross sales per acre. Some of the "best" land in the country wasn't in the
high gross sales per acre and I think the high category was only in the
$300's per acre. The highly productive grain areas of the country aren't
necessarily as glamorous as most make them out to be. At least in this post
we are talking about grain as human food rather than using high input grain
to substitute for low input grass production.
Low input livestock and vegetables have to play a role in sustainable
agriculture if we don't want further consolidation of farms. Grain doesn't
leave much room for a lot of producers. Its all about the profitability in
the economics part of the sustainable ag equation.
And if we are going to talk about organic bean prices, we need to move the
hog price up accordingly to at least $60/cwt. I still couldn't afford to be
a grain farmer. I'd be a lot better off raising organic pigs.
I wouldn't argue with you that there are places that shouldn't be raising
pigs. But I think in my situation nothing else is going to provide a
sustainable centerpeice operation. If I had the knowledge to milk or the
market for vegetables I might think differently.
Gunthorp's Pasture-ized Pork
LaGrange, Indiana (a stones throw from Ohio & Michigan)
visit our farm at www.grassfarmer.com
PS For those that have emailed, I'm still working on a post to summarise
my thoughts on last weeks meeting of the Small Farm Commission.
From: tom abeles <email@example.com>
To: Greg & Lei Gunthorp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Rexxie1@aol.com <Rexxie1@aol.com>; Sanet <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: excess supply hogs
>Greg & Lei Gunthorp wrote, in a small part
> Before it turns around its going to take its toll
>> on small and large hog farmers alike.
>> I'm afraid there are even going to be a lot of sustainable hog
>> that throw the towel in before this one is over. Its going to take very
>> debt AND low cost to survive this one. We are in desperate need of
>> alternative markets for sustainable livestock farmers if we want very
>Could it be that now is the time to seriously look at farming operations
>, organizations and markets and ask if some changes can be wrought to
>build more stable models of farm production and sales?
>Hmm, maybe "the other white meat" could be tofu?
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