Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weather proof farming: Galloways are go!

Weather proof, recession proof, climate change proof cattle.
Really, the galloway got it all!

Here are two pics of Joe Condon's cattle taken today and yesterday (R). You can see a deterioration in the weather, but no let up in the cattle's foraging. They love this weather! When goats are coming down the hills in Wicklow, these Galloway cattle go higher.

They develop a double coat of hair in the winter, and have an extra thick skin. This means they don't develop a layer of fat over the winter - Lean, mean eatin' machines!

No expensive, climate busting, potentially GM and ultra-globalised compound feeds are needed for these cattle - they just keep eating the grasses that they themselves help bring on.

As a brucie bonus, this also means that the meat produced is grass fed meat, even over the winter and even for finishing. Who else can claim this?

This is meat that could be produced, literally, if the island was blockaded. This is meat that can be produced when and where nothing else can, and for a fraction of the costs and risks. Other farmers with other breeds will suffer, and will expect some sort of state support if this weather continues. These cattle don't need this.

All of this is also good for the bottom line - compound feeds are expensive, and the consumer pays in the end.

And its not just that there are negatives associated with compound feeds - in this weather it is hard to move them around. Simply put - farmers may find them hard to source and get a supply of.

Joe on the other hand, has no feed or fertilizer bills, and his machinery is a quad bike. The Galloways have access to sheds, but they don't bother to go in as they don't like going indoors.

So costs, with this farming system, simply disappear.

This is farming from the Celtic and Norman times, but it is also farming for the future.

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