Monday 3 September 2018

What Is It With Farmers?

Just one of those things ...
In my soldiering days I spent plenty of time in the country.   Even dealt extensively with farmers on one occasion, when I was appointed Damage Control Officer on an exercise that roamed over a huge area of private arable land, laying waste as it went (with compo to be agreed between the DCO and the landowners - I may tell the story another day).  But hey, basically I'm a townie through and through.

So what is it with farmers?  They've had a drought this summer and the testimony of the cameras is there for all to see.  But what about insurance?  Like forward contracts and other financial products, insurance was pretty much invented for farmers.  I am no stranger to weather insurance and weather-related derivatives (energy industry, me: we use 'em all the time) and they really aren't difficult to arrange.  All this whingeing about how farmers have already used up the winter fodder and now need to buy in more - that's what insurance is for, all day long.

Hard-hearted?  No, just hard-headed, as far as I am concerned.  So - can someone tell us what's wrong with this robust retort to our country cousins?



tolkein said...

Who says they weren't insured?

Anonymous said...

Where have you been for the last 6 decades. They always complain.

In the silly season the BBC decided to share the woes of the Ozzie farmers - as if we cared.

If you want the lowdown on 21st Century farming, read the some of the VAT tax cases for farmers that have come along this year. An average run of the mill farmers seeking a £7m VAT refund for renting land in the far north east of Scotland and doing nothing with it - generating subsidies. If I find the cae, I'll post a link.

Growing things is so last century.

Swiss Bob said...

There's lots of insurance cover available for the commodities end of the agribusiness market but talking to a friend who is a grain and grape grower it's pricey and inflexible at the small business end and a cashflow drain, "not worth it".

Bill Quango MP said...

Farmers near me saying the price of potatoes going in, seed crops, are twenty times the price in 2017.
Been saying it since the first four weeks of the hot weather.

Food prices will rise in the spring.


Good to see Swiss Bob slumming it here.
He is author of the Going Postal blog.

Jim said...

Because insurance companies are c*nts, that why. They'd take your money for years then refuse to pay out because of some technicality. And if they did have to pay out, they'd double the premiums the next year, despite you having paid and got nothing for decades. As I said, c*nts.

david morris said...

But at least the comments are read here

Anonymous said...

I think there's a big difference between the agribusinesses, whose sheds you can see all over East Anglia, the wannabes (a guy near me is renting land like its going out of fashion, its all run by an agent (what would have been called a steward), contractors do nearly everything), and the more traditional types who actually live in farmhouses and tend to be dairy/sheep - who haven't yet made back the money they lost in 2012/3 when it was so wet the beasts came inside in September and stayed in til May.

Anonymous said...

I'm watching the price of things like broccoli shoot up and the carrots in the supermarket bag get skinnier. A lot of stuff is now cheaper frozen than fresh.

Good news is mushrooms are unaffected - though Tesco were selling Polish ones the other day.