The True Costs of Farming
In many parts of the world today a family may have a small amount of livestock and an area to grow fruit and vegetables.
Over the centuries as commercial or communal farming came into being as a direct result of the need to supply large towns and then cities the farms have grown larger and larger.
One interesting aspect is that as the need for home grown produce is essential to any economy there has been constant involvement by governments with things like subsidies and a carefully controlled import and export business.
This has resulted in a mutually beneficial need for carefully controlled information that has resulted in accurate statistics being produced every year.
The statistics reveal very precisely the number of farms or holdings there are in the U.K. and the number of full and part time workers. They also detail the number of holdings into their predominant crops or livestock and their various yields.
Taking just one statistic concerning the price of farm land in the U.K. makes interesting reading and it confirms the current argument that getting started in agriculture these days is almost impossible because of the initial cost.
Nearly all young farmers who study at college for a farming degree are the sons and daughters of existing farmers and hope to go back to the parent's farm with a view to one day inheriting it all.
Others less lucky and without farming connections find it very difficult to get good jobs in their chosen specialty after qualifying.
To set up a new farm is hugely expensive. The statistics reveal that the price of an average hectare in the U.K. has doubled in seven years from seven thousand four hundred pounds to fourteen thousand two hundred pounds.
As fifty hectares is considered a fairly minimum amount of land to run a decent farm, the land price alone works out at close to three quarters of a million pounds.
Add to that the price of a house and stock, seeds and machinery right down to tractors and perhaps ATV Trailers and it would appear that around one and a half million pounds is the start-up cost of a new farming business.
Buying an existing farm is even more expensive as any known profits have to be taken into account.
It is a wonder why anyone bothers when one realises the average net pay a farmer gets out of all his efforts is usually little more than an average office worker.
And yet farming is more than just a job it is a way of life that many would never want to change. The U.K. has a climate that makes farming full of diversity with some of the best wheat yields in the world and some of the best livestock with beef and lamb amongst the very tastiest.