Low returns in Agriculture?

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Alberta farmer

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Looking back on some of my old accounting books I am amazed how little the prices of our products have increased and how high our costs have increased!
In 1988 we sold 612 lb. steer calves for $1.12/lb. We bought a new half ton 4X4 for $9200. Our dyed deisel was 18 cents(converted to US gal/$). Nitrogen fertilizer(46-0-0) was $260/ton(applied!).
Today... steer calves (who knows?) New half ton 4X4 about $30,000. Dyed deisel $2.44(converted).
The lists of costs goes on and on. Our electricity bill is probably up in the range of 300%. Same with phone and property taxes,machinery repair costs,etc.! New machinery would be even higher.
I guess those were the good old days?
 

bigbull338

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sounds like nothing has changed in years.we have always had high input cost.an low returns on what we sell.but all we can hope for is just to make a living.
 

Bez+

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Douglas":3szj0uza said:
Low returns in Cattle business maybe, but many areas of agriculture are well subsidized here are are quite profitable.

Not trying to start a fight Douglas - but the ag budget for government support in the USA is absolutely stupendous as compared to Alberta - where Alberta Farmer is from.

I can honestly state my place has received a total of less than 500 bucks in any subsidies since BSE hit several years ago - and that money was for my retained steers. I should have sold them earlier anyways - the price dropped to the point that the subsidy did not even make up for the loss - let alone the additional feed. So I came outbehind anyways.

Best one was the cheque for ... hmmm .... I think it was 42 cents. It definitely was for less than one dollar - I still have it at home somewhere.

I discussed CAIS with a representative in our township - he told me to not bother applying - the application and accounting fees would far outweigh the benefit - so we go it on our own.

Some of us in Canada are quite jealous of what you folks have.

Our expenses have more than doubled and tripled - while the cash flow has decreased.

Even the big and well run ranches that have no land payments have off farm income to survive now. Not too many full time beef folks out there in the world.

Cheers

Bez+
 

hillsdown

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All I can add to that Bez is YUP....
The only markets that are doing alright ,here in Alberta anyways, are the ones that have quota. And now we have the drought to raise feed prices and lower livestock prices.
 

john250

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Bez+":3uavqphe said:
Some of us in Canada are quite jealous of what you folks have.

Our expenses have more than doubled and tripled - while the cash flow has decreased.

Even the big and well run ranches that have no land payments have off farm income to survive now. Not too many full time beef folks out there in the world.

Cheers

Bez+

US subsidies go to input suppliers, laundered by farmers. A 10% increase in a subsidy is followed rapidly by a 10% increase (or more) in seed, fertilizer, rent. I'm confident this is true in all the relatively free economies of the world.
The farmer comes out about the same, regardless of the amount of any subsidy.
 

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