No Till biological farming

Discussion in 'Tillage' started by Louis mc, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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  2. CORK

    CORK Well-Known Member

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    I’ve said it before, I do think there’s more than just cultivation method to worm numbers.
    pH and drainage make a massive difference to from what I’ve seen.
    Peat lands are almost completely organic matter but I’ve never seen them crawling with worms.
     
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  3. WestCorkBoy

    WestCorkBoy Well-Known Member

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    On pH, we have a stand of I think Sitka spruce adjacent to our yard/garden here, I have (unfortunately) buried two pets there in the last three months, dug up zero earthworms, rich dark organic material never disturbed but too acidic. Soil sampling tillage fields with a spade lots of worms but granted not as many as in the permanent pasture.
     
  4. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    There's no life in sitka spruce plantations, above or below ground.
     
  5. WestCorkBoy

    WestCorkBoy Well-Known Member

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    There really isn't I was really surprised, were underplanting it with oak and mountain ash as its reaching the end of its natural life. It was planted for shelter back in the 30's I'd reckon.
     
  6. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Imagine if 2/3 of your townland was planted with. We don't have to imagine. The only life in it is badgers and grey squirrels.
     
  7. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    Wo
    Would broadleaf forests grow up there?
     
  8. WestCorkBoy

    WestCorkBoy Well-Known Member

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    What would you like to see happen the land? Is there another economic land use that would contribute more to the community?
     
  9. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Certainly in our townland broadleaf would grow. We are not the mountain picture that everyone imagines when we talk about it. We have a huge population of ash trees in the area through the hedgerows and in small plantations.
     
  10. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Broadleaf would be an option. And so would farming. Without derailing this thread, there are several issues:

    1. If my next door neighbour dies and his land is being sold, and I go to the bank to borrow the money, the bank will not lend the money to me if I am going to farm it, even if I can show in my farm accounts, that I have the capacity to meet the repayments. They will only lend the money to me to buy it if I am going to plant it and set the term of my loan against the forestry premiums.

    2. If my next door neighbour dies and his nephew in Dublin inherits the land, he has 2 options. 1. Sell it or 2. plant it. If he sells it, he has a lump sum. If he plants it with sika spruce then he has an investment which can probably give a 100% low tax return over 20 years and he still retains ownership of the land. On top of that, once established after a year or 2, there's no maintenance of sika spruce compared to broadleaf.

    It's a tough situation for a lot of young people in our area that want to expand their farms - and there are quite a few. Land values are not that high, but it's extremely difficult to get finance to buy land that you want to farm. Around our own farm, there was a 25 acre plot of land planted in 2012 which runs almost to my back door. I tried to persuade the person who inherited it to sell it to me, even offered them a good bit more than land was going in the area for it, but the return from forestry was just too big of lure for them. We have a shared laneway which gives me access to my land an an old house. Every second field along this laneway belongs to me and now, every second field has trees in it which will soon leave a lot of my fields boxed in by trees.

    It's a common theme around here. What does forestry contribute to our community? Well, it ensures that young people can't buy land and live and farm in the area. People don't like living in forests, so the majority of houses that were on farms that were planted are closed up and not lived in - many falling down at this stage. It gives a few day's wages per acre for a few men to plant and fence the land. Machines come in to thin the forests - the latest guys came from laois. Most of the harvested timber is brought by lorry to Murray's in Galway for sawing and many of the narrower roads around here are in very poor shape because of the volume of heavy lorries that use them to extract trees.

    I personally feel that it takes far more from our community than it contributes. At least with broadleaf, we would have wildlife, birds, bees etc. 40% of forestry payments related to forestry in the county was paid to people with addresses outside the county. So aside from farmers feeling disaffected etc, 40% of a massive forestry premium went out of the county. Cash from wood sales goes out of the county. The 2 sawmills in the county only saw a very small volume of timber and 8) of harvested wood is sawn outside the county. Forestry a contribution to the county? It's more of a drain!
     
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  11. bagenal

    bagenal Well-Known Member

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    Can someone that inherits land that has no agricultural income plant it and draw premiums?
    An uncle died a number of years ago and between jigs and reels there was 6 of us to get a share of it. I looked into planting it with a view to setting something up as a long term investment for all of us but I came across something which said that to get the premiums there would have to be other agricultural income of at least 75%.
    I more than likely got it wrong somewhere along the line but probably for the best in the long run as it would be hard to get 6 lads to agree to anything :fight:
     
  12. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Up to about 5 years ago you got a reduced rate of forestry premium if agriculture was not 75% of your income. But now its the same rate for everyone.

    A private pension fund ownes forestry which joins our farm. I'm not sure what the premium is, but I think its €200 per acre. They bought the 22 acres for €46k. They get €4400 in premiums annually. It will glhave given. a guaranteed 100% return in 11 years. They can also sell the wood from the thinnings.

    Some wealthy lad in Dublin 4 is probably the beneficiary of it all.

    There's something very unfair about how all of this is being done. The money is just sucked out of the local economy. Its bleeding rural places dry.
     
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  13. 6600

    6600 Well-Known Member

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    Google the UN Agenda 21
     
  14. bagenal

    bagenal Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, it stinks.
     
  15. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Trees for cars. Cars for beef.

    We grow trees so that European Climate Change Targets can be met. This reduces the amount of land that we have in Ireland to produce beef and reduces the amount of beef that we sell into the EU. Germany produces cars. It has a trade deal with south american countries (Mercusor) that it is trying and will push through. Germany will export cars over there. The Mercusor countries will cut down rain forests in order to produce more beef and Ireland will give incentives to plant more sika spruce in order to offset the destruction of Mercusor rain forests.

    It's win win for germany and mercusor and a double loss for irish farmers
     
  16. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

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    Same here and people wonder why UK wants to leave the Eu.
     
  17. kildare

    kildare Well-Known Member

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    Mucky manor. I know it must be annoying for you when you want to buy land and you don't get it. . But if you can't beat them why not join them and buy and plant yourself.
    If your talking of 200 euro income with little expense on land that's 3000 a acre.
    Sure that's a much as is made on land that's a multiple of that.
     
  18. 6600

    6600 Well-Known Member

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    It's more than annoying, it's wrong and immoral. The land that has been planted a lot of it would have even grown potatoes in the 1800's, so to say that it's incapable of anything else is ridiculous. Farmers (I'm not talking about the 'farmers' who rent out their land or plant trees) are not being given a fair throw of the dice. The state, funded by their EU masters are giving people €275 an acre for 15 years to plant trees, tax free! Look at the full page ad on the Findo today. And they keep their SFP, for doing shag all, and selling out future generations. Someone wanting to buy or rent the land to farm and produce something that will add to the economy cannot compete. Land planted in trees is lost to farming forever. For 15 years of dole money. It's nothing short of state funded population replacement. If you don't want to farm the land then sell it and let someone else have a chance.
     
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  19. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    I know that's the logical way of doing things. And even more logical in a financial sense would be for me to plant all of the land that we own and sit on €40,000 per year tax free without having to do a tap, and the same for half of the farmers in the country. But I just want to farm and I don't consider Forestry to be Farming - well it's certainly not the type of farming that I want to do. It's hard to explain. I was out milking cows with my father from when I was 3 years old. At 6 or 7 years old I had a flock of sheep. At 17 I took a loan to buy land, and I worked my ass off to pay it off and try to make something out of it. My father did the same thing. He started off with 20 acres and in the 70's, 80's and 90's added to it every couple of years. I have a young lad. Passing him on a farm of trees doesn't give him any options. At least he can decide what he wants to do with it when he gets it - if he wants to plant it, so be it.

    Its 2019, and the last bit of land that was sold around here was bought by a forestry company for €4000 per acre. I understand that forestry companies are willing to go to up to €4500 on land and still have a healthy financial return from it. As @6600 points out above, the huge frustration is with the government grants. I have no problem with any of my neighbours planting a part or all of their land and using the income to survive. That kind of money keeps the local economy going and keeps people living there. The bigger issue with me lies with internationally backed forestry companies who are coming in and hoovering up the land at prices that are artificially created by the government and their forestry grants. This practice sucks both people and money from the local economy and it will never return.

    I'm less so frustrated, but still somewhat frustrated by people who inherit land and plant it. It's their given right to do what they want with it. But the decision is swayed by the government forestry grants. For example, close to me, an elderly man died and left his farm to his nephew, a civil servant in Dublin. He had no interest in farming. If the forestry grant wasn't so attractive, then he would have sold this land or at least leased it and this would have allowed some other farmer in the area to expand. I know for a fact that he had a consultation with Teagasc for advice on what to do with the farm and he was advised to that the only route for him was to plant it. He met the Teagasc forestry advisor the same day and the deal was done. It's awful frustrating.

    There's land planted around here with no access to it. They will have to rent or buy a right of way from one of the neighbouring farmers in order to harvest the trees - they had to get permission from a local farmer to cross it to mound it, fence it and plant it. It's not logical to plant land like that - it should have been sold. At another end of our land, there's 20 acres went into trees recently. The only access is a narrow laneway that will only cater for a small car. There will never be access for lorries and there's no land at the entrance to make a storage area for harvested timber. What's going to happen to these types of plantations? They were only planted to draw the grants. They won't ever be thinned for the duration of the grants. Once the grant is used up, they will be sold for a pittance - if they can get anyone to buy them. They are no good to any neighbouring farmers at that stage because they cannot be put back into farmland.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  20. 6600

    6600 Well-Known Member

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    Fair dues to you, at 17 it must have been a daunting proposition to buy land.
     
  21. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    Well it came up right beside us. It belonged to a relative and had been left to his nieces and nephew's when he died. They decided to sell it and split it. The old man backed me for the loan because I wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting money like that on my own. It also had a site on it. It was a good move. I had it paid off in 10 years - went from paying a farm loan to a mortgage after that. It's amazing how much land has risen in price in 20 years - I don't think I'd be able to borrow the value of it now.
     
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  22. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Worms are pulling the straw down into the ground.
    BD7F32D6-6552-417C-8AAC-EFB215B7FC72.jpeg
    This is a worm midden over a worm hole.
    21B70FC6-EE36-4CD5-8401-98E1F57306AE.jpeg
    This is the worm hole with the midden removed and you can see the straw being dragged into the soil.
    82B95C90-F495-4025-AADC-9D97F488E811.jpeg
     
  23. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Simple YouTube on Regenerative Agricultur .
     
  24. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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  25. CORK

    CORK Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting and from a very reputable organisation.

    They must have a lot of measurements from the Broadbalk experiment to back up the above theory.

    So, if we reduce artificial N & P input, how can we maintain crop output? Rely more on organic sources of nutrients?

    Does this question the benefits of N fixing plants?
     

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