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Old 11-12-2009, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,141 posts, read 50,298,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I know nothing about goats except that they are called--boer goats

--boar--is a male pig used for breeding sows and gilts
True.

My spellch3cker seems to be happy with both spellings
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:10 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,679,656 times
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---"I remember being in the 1980's and early 1990's you hated to admit you were a farmer"--

Since you weren't born til 1974, if you ask your older relatives,they would tell you why that was.

Jimmy Carter

Grain prices were good in the 70's,land prices were rising rapidly, .

The Russian grain embargo caused grain prices to tumble, land prices to nosedive, and interest rates later skyrocketed.

In the early 1980's ( when you were 6-7 years old) banks started to call in operating loans that were at 8% and you had to agree to re-write them at 13% or more.

Many farmers could not afford those higher payments and had little equity due to the nosedive of the land value.( similar to the collapse of today's housing market)

The feed mill had no more room for auction posters of farmers going broke.

Naturally, farming was not viewed as a good occupation back then and I can see why those views were justified.

Ask the elders in your family as I am sure they could remember the boom of the 70's and the bust of the 80's.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:07 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,157,444 times
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They say that alpaca wool is indeed high quality wool, soft and extremely warm. As a snowmobiler I want a pair but can't exactly afford $30 dollar socks!

I heard though that to get that level of quality wool, it takes the right mix of feed, quality forage and soil. The snake oil salesman selling the Alpacas are certainly not going to tell you any of that though. The gullible think they can simply stick some alpacas on some marginal land and make high quality wool are in for a very rude awakening. I know what I am talking about, my meat sheep produce very poor wool due to the high level of protein they get...it's more course. If I didn't have Montadales it would probably be greasy too.

But that is the trouble with non-standard farming fads and markets; you make money as long as its a novel thing, but once the bottom drops out, what do you do with the livestock? Your marketing options are very limited and that is why its called a "Breeder's Market." And every breeders market does one thing...produces an incredible amount of male livestock. Once the market gets saturated...boom...there goes the bottom and everything tumbles.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:17 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,157,444 times
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As for the Boar-Goat/ Boer-Goat issue FBK speaks of, I can collaborate that story. Part if it stemmed from the influx of middle-eastern people here in Maine. When they started arriving in droves, people thought that goat meat would take off and it seemed everyone got into goats. What actually happened was the farmers and homesteaders here flooded the market with goat meat and the tank dropped.

Even today I hear of a lot of Maine homesteaders "wanting to get into goats". The choice of livestock has a lot going for it, and they do well here, but because of that, the market is really down, something like $1 per pound.

Sometimes I think what hurts the sheep industry the most (breeding only once per year on most breeds), might help to keep the price up. I found I can make money by knowing the lamb cycle and getting my lambs finished off before the influx of lambs ready for the market. Its tough because it means mid-winter lambing, but its by lambs on the ground sooner, and ultimately to market before everyone else's.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,534,807 times
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Marmac's right; I was on a family farm in the early 80's, and we were growing 940 acres of corn and soybeans. Me and my 'sis' would leave our night jobs in town and go straight to the farm and get on the tractors, work all day til we had to turn on the headlights, then come back to the house and sleep a few hours til time to go back to our midnight jobs. Then there was no market to sell. Our co-op got the farmers together and they loaded all of the corn and soybeans onto trucks to the sea, then loaded them onto a ship, took them out five miles, turned around, then brought the produce back in and sold it to the 'floppy hat people' as 'imported grain'. That was the only way to make money then! We did that for several years, but in spite of "Farm Aid" (we never knew anyone who saw any of that) many farmers lost their farms. "Dad" finally sold the farm to a mass-producing chicken-hut concern. Once they got started, you could smell the stench for miles when the wind was right.

Milk goats are great - there are a lot of folks who can't drink cow's milk who will buy goat's milk instead, and pay more for it. Another little farm I worked on used to raise cattle, and birds to sell for hunters and meat, but the goat milk market was very lucrative. We milked and pasteurized every day, bottling it in Mason jars, and selling out every weekend. Then the hispanics moved in, and they would pay high prices for goat meat on the hoof, so we made some really good inroads there, too... and didn't even have to butcher them.

Gotta know your market.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:14 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,157,444 times
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I think the key is having a back up plan for your market. If a person can raise and sell Gecko Tails and make $30,000 per year I am glad for them. They have done their work, created a market from nothing, but they also have to realize at some point their business model is going to be copied and others are going to get into it.

At that point they had:

1. Either be ready to get out and try something else
2. Find another market for their Gecko Tails besides direct market sales
3. Be willing to take the lower price now that the market is saturated

Far too many people think the high prices will maintain forever. Right now "Buy Local" is a huge thing and I see that continuing for awhile, but eventually that will die out too. I don't see that for a few years though as American's tend to think in 7 year lengths. We got at least 5-6 years before the fad starts to wane.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:19 AM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 2,399,865 times
Reputation: 1010
Well, "Buy Local" has been going on for quite a few years more than 1-2. If it's a 7 year fad, it should be done about now.
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