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Seth Watkins - Integrated farming systems

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Integrated crop and livestock systems on Pinhook Farm

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Seth Watkins - Integrated farming systems

  1. 1. 1.) Experiences & financial consequences of diversifying a farm. 2.) Key economic & social barriers facing farmers in moving from specialization to integrated crop & livestock systems. 3.) Farm as a holistic system & long term approach. What are the benefits of investing in the future?
  2. 2. Revenue Sources: Cattle Outfitting Land mitigation for LEED SSc 5 credits USDA subsidy payments My wife’s great job as a special education teacher Pinhook Farm
  3. 3. Why am I working against Mother Nature instead of with her?
  4. 4. “Good things as well as bad, you know are caught by a kind of infection”. C.S. Lewis
  5. 5. Results
  6. 6. Cows Cost Pinhook Farm Traditional Chemicals & Fertilizer 1 Acres @ $59.39 $0 $59.50 Nitrogen 2 acres @ $42.20 $0 $84.40 Winter feed @ $1.50 per cow per day $67.50 (45 days) $180.00 (120 days) Cover crop grazing (grazing pays for cc) $37.50 (45 days) $0 Sub total: $105.00 $323.90 Pinhook Farm net savings per cow: $218.90 Production Steer weight @ 205 days 560# 560# % calves weaned per cow exposed 93% 85% Pounds weaned per cow exposed 539.4# @ $1.90 476# @ $1.90 Revenue per calf @ $1.90 $1,024.86 $904.40 Cost minus production ($105.00) ($323.90) Pinhook Farm Production advantage: $957.36 $580.50 Difference of $376.86 per calf
  7. 7. Corn (These reflect costs & production for comparable land in my region.) Cost Pinhook Farm Traditional Tillage @ $40 per acre $0 $40.00 Nitrogen $49.60 (80# @ .62) $93.00 (150# @ .62) Sub total: $49.60 $133.00 Pinhook Farm net savings per acre: $83.40 STRIPs: Ag Solver data has documented revenue gains of up to $800 per acre by identifying land not suitable for crop production & enrolling it in CRP. Current data shows production as neutral, with the exception of drought years. During drought years there is a documented yield increase from using cover crops.
  8. 8. We don’t have a shortage of corn & soy. We do have a shortage of clean water, healthy soil and wild things.
  9. 9. • Population distribution • Federal Crop Insurance • RFS • 1031Tax Free Exchange • Cheap Oil • Desire / Apathy • Poverty • LinearThinking 50% of the US population is concentrated in 146 counties.
  10. 10. Change the way we farm to follow the principles of Conservation Agriculture Focus on creating responsible land owners Enforce compliance on Federal Crop Insurance Make decisions based on calories & dollars Return to teaching Agriculture as an Art & a Science

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