Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
recumbentpanda
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby recumbentpanda » 10 Aug 2018, 10:01am

Riding along a local ex railway path that is also a farm access road, I was passing some dense woods on my left with concealed turnings. Something made me wary and sure enough, a large agricultural machinery contractors van suddenly began to nose out, the driver on his phone. Cue loud spectacular slidey, pulsing brakes emergency stop by me which got his attention. (OK I was hamming it up a bit!) Continuing his phone chat, he nonchalantly waved me on. OK, mister, you’ve made me stop in high gear, and this is a recumbent with no hub gears. So now watch me accelerate away slower than a geriatric snail towing a trailer full of house bricks :evil:

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Phil Fouracre » 10 Aug 2018, 1:16pm

Yeah, but! Farmers are 'custodians of the countryside'! :/(
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Vorpal » 10 Aug 2018, 1:30pm

recumbentpanda wrote:So now watch me accelerate away slower than a geriatric snail towing a trailer full of house bricks.

I have to admit this metaphor gave me a chuckle.
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brynpoeth
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Aug 2018, 1:38pm

Phil Fouracre wrote:Yeah, but! Farmers are 'custodians of the countryside'! :/(

No, they are businesspeople €€€
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Vorpal » 10 Aug 2018, 1:39pm

julianm wrote:Locally the idea seems to be to buy something designed for the plains of Kansas & then put it to use on lanes where they touch the hedges on either side of the road. The drivers seem indifferent to their surroundings & the threat they pose to every other road user.
Don`t get me started on the thousands of tons of produce they drag along many many miles of A & B road on red diesel to avoid haulier costs.

Yeah. Although There are still a few tractors built in the UK, the designs are sort of general for Europe or North America. So, thery are really designed for bigger farms and roads than are typical in the UK. They still make smaller tractors, but of course, farmers want to run big equipment; planters, loaders, rippers, etc. and in order to do that, or to avoid buying more equipment, they buy big.
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brynpoeth
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Aug 2018, 1:45pm

A lot of work is done by contractors because ordinary farmers cannae afford to buy big machines
Mind, the contractors only use their combines for a few weeks a year, how can they afford it, and why is food (still) so cheap?
Is it cheap? Alternative facts welcome

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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Aug 2018, 1:58pm

Vorpal wrote:
julianm wrote:Locally the idea seems to be to buy something designed for the plains of Kansas & then put it to use on lanes where they touch the hedges on either side of the road. The drivers seem indifferent to their surroundings & the threat they pose to every other road user.
Don`t get me started on the thousands of tons of produce they drag along many many miles of A & B road on red diesel to avoid haulier costs.

Yeah. Although There are still a few tractors built in the UK, the designs are sort of general for Europe or North America. So, thery are really designed for bigger farms and roads than are typical in the UK. They still make smaller tractors, but of course, farmers want to run big equipment; planters, loaders, rippers, etc. and in order to do that, or to avoid buying more equipment, they buy big.

If they're designed for American farms, yes. But UK farms average 57 hectares compared to the EU average of 16.1 ha.

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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Vorpal » 10 Aug 2018, 3:22pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
julianm wrote:Locally the idea seems to be to buy something designed for the plains of Kansas & then put it to use on lanes where they touch the hedges on either side of the road. The drivers seem indifferent to their surroundings & the threat they pose to every other road user.
Don`t get me started on the thousands of tons of produce they drag along many many miles of A & B road on red diesel to avoid haulier costs.

Yeah. Although There are still a few tractors built in the UK, the designs are sort of general for Europe or North America. So, thery are really designed for bigger farms and roads than are typical in the UK. They still make smaller tractors, but of course, farmers want to run big equipment; planters, loaders, rippers, etc. and in order to do that, or to avoid buying more equipment, they buy big.

If they're designed for American farms, yes. But UK farms average 57 hectares compared to the EU average of 16.1 ha.

I should have said fields, rather than farms. UK farms are often distrubuted over multiple sites with small fields, bordered by hedges and lanes.
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ChrisButch
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby ChrisButch » 10 Aug 2018, 4:36pm

The steadily increasing size of the machinery is driven by labour costs. The larger the machine, the more work per person-hour. The widely-predicted advent of robot farm machinery (already happening to some extent) would change that - but you then have the interesting problem of how to get the harvested crop etc back to the farm.

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Paulatic
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Paulatic » 10 Aug 2018, 4:44pm

brynpoeth wrote:A lot of work is done by contractors because ordinary farmers cannae afford to buy big machines


I disagree. The reason contractors are used is because of the labour that comes with the machine. Farmers can’t afford to employ a man 52 weeks and only use him for a 30weeks In the year.

Also when people here are quoting farm sizes I think the figures they are using are holding size. A farm business can consist of many holding numbers. A business using multiple holding numbers can be beneficial (ahem), in many ways, to the farmer.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 10 Aug 2018, 5:57pm

Hi,
Reminds me on my last training ride, past a farm, not the first incident of many.....................
Heard a tractor but could not see it, when I did it was exiting through a gate with large long bail forks........blocked the single track road and I was right in front of it saved by the fact the road widened at that point.

The driver just assumed that no one was there but could not see the road at all even if there was :evil:

Next incident I will have some words with farmer about his sons.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Aug 2018, 7:16pm

I'd say the vast majority of agricultural vehicles are considerately driven, but there are some which seem to be driven by lunatics. I've always assumed these are the contractors paid by the job, but I don't know. As for the size of vehicles, I've seen some amazing ones round Somerset in the last couple of weeks. One last weekend had tracks at the front, wheels at the back and the cab was so high off the ground you could literally have walked underneath it. It was wider than a lorry but it was the height that really impressed. I've no idea exactly what it did.

Postboxer
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Postboxer » 10 Aug 2018, 7:19pm

Those average farm sizes seem very low, I don't know what they count as a 'farm'. It would be good to see a breakdown of numbers of farms of different sizes, the average may be brought down by large numbers of retired bankers and ex pop stars who have bought a house with a field and called it a farm.

brynpoeth
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Aug 2018, 8:35pm

Postboxer wrote:Those average farm sizes seem very low, I don't know what they count as a 'farm'. It would be good to see a breakdown of numbers of farms of different sizes, the average may be brought down by large numbers of retired bankers and ex pop stars who have bought a house with a field and called it a farm.

Statistics again, mean, median, mode :wink:
Not so long ago there were many smallholders who had a paid job too, just kept a few chickens, pigs etc
100 000 battery hens do not need a lot of space either :?
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Close encounters of the agricultural kind

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Aug 2018, 9:10pm

If you're looking at the EU figure, don't forget that it's not all France and Germany. There are several countries in Eastern and Southern Europe where most farms really are barely more than smallholdings.