Some of you who read my blog will know that a couple of years ago we on La Margarita decided that it was time we got a bit more serious about farming. However, we had just been though a drought the result of which had many farmers screaming at the government for help which never came. Many farmers lost a packed sadly. We suffered as well as we watched the drying up of land and pasture hoping and hoping the rains would come and we would at least have enough pasture to see out the drought. Luckily enough we did and our cows survived and everyone was happy. I had a long talk with my partner in agriculture who had suffered a bad loss in the drought. We had a serious talk and decided it can’t it get any worse – so we decided to plant soya. The predictions for El Nino were that good rain was forecast and the price of soya was on the move upwards. So with trepidation we drunk a whisky or two and decided to plant soya even though we have to contend with a government who insist on taking 35% of our crop in pre taxes!! – making life tough indeed here to make money if you don’t know your way out of the maze ( they will be gone this year is the big hope here).
We rented 200 hectors about 1000 acres and planted soya. We did various rain dances asked for help from above and low and behold it worked - we had a good crop to sell. Problem was that the price of meat doubled here in one year and we suddenly had to pay double for the land we rented since the rental was based on the price of meat. As some of you know when we harvested last year and sent our crop to market we had a huge profit of 5US$. Umm a bad start for me in the agriculture business. However Fito one of the owners of the racehorse I own and a countryman said don’t give up keep going and keep planting - he said plant wheat and get your expenses back to pay for the land and then you will be ready to plant soya again . We followed his advice. Mario and I had a talk and decided that we would plant wheat which would pay for the rental of the land, leaving us clear to plant soya again. We at the same time decided to plant barely since the taxes were lower. Both crops grew well the rains came the price of wheat went up and so did the price of soya and barley. A few months ago we harvested and sent our crops to the silos ready to sell at the right moment.
Last week our rewards came –I got my first cheque from our crops. It was a great feeling since at one time it didn’t look like it would happen. However farming is a long term business and we have only just started. The cheque means I have recouped about 70% of my investment – where is the other 30% - it’s in the ground together with our potential profit. Our next soya crop will decide if we have made any money. We harvest in April it will be a tense time watch this blog – if it works out we will be heading for the beaches of Brazil for a well deserved holiday - if it doesn’t it will a day trip to Bangor and back to the drawing board – however whatever we will continue . Farmers always moan and most of the time they are right to moan but I am sure they make money in the end – we will see. We are now planning to plant in Uruguay in Nov – a new challenge that I am really looking forward to and you will read about it in this blog
This is David Cummings alias the English Gaucho off to do a rain dance
Hasta la vista