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Global Farming

The case for grain-fed beef

It’s high-time to bring some perspective to the debate about the merits of ‘grass-fed’ beef (extensive production) versus ‘grain-fed’ beef (intensive).
The future, especially in the long term, is always uncertain. Farmers would do well to focus their attention on the present and on those factors they can control.
Farming is not for the faint-hearted. In addition to adverse climatic conditions, farmers have to cope with rising costs and stagnant product prices.
The spectacular growth and subsequent drop in game prices demonstrate all the properties of an economic ‘bubble’.
Never mind dwindling terms of trade. Our farmers also have to deal with a steady flow of disrupters. But good management can lead to better profits.

Why size really does matter

The facts and figures are clear. If you want to stay in business as a farmer, it is essential to steadily expand your operation.
The correct use of new technology can help a farmer become more profitable. However, being an early adopter of new technology holds risks that must be managed.
Farmers living under the constant threat of farm attacks do not have the luxury of discussing this issue in academic terms.
Without proper education and mentorship, transformation projects are doomed to fail.
Sustainable farming means taking care of the environment and making a profit. Farmers should be highly suspicious of advice that does not take this into account.
South Africa’s power utility, under enormous financial pressure, is desperately increasing tariffs to survive. This, in turn, is worsening its woes as more and more consumers switch off.
Farmers have little or no control over producer prices. They should therefore focus on production and marketing efficiencies.

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