Farmer’s lament in the cowshed

Farmer's lament in the cowshed

"That's the end of farming for us,", ranted farmers' association district chairman gerhard ehrlich at the start of the political battle on rosen monday. Traditionally, this is an occasion for farmers to tell their representatives what they need to do. This time, the farm of wolfgang schultheib in gossenberg was used as an example of a dairy farm affected by the crisis.

What gerhard ehrlich emports, he tried to make clear to CSU member of the bundestag hans michelbach and SPD member of the state parliament susann biedefeld. Many farmers have just invested in new barns in which the cows stand on a slatted floor, as in the case of the schultheib family, and the EU is coming up with new ideas. Cattle are to lie on straw again in the future, and pigs are to be allowed to move around freely in the barn. "Who will clean out the stables then??", asked ehrlich with a view to the schultheib farm with currently around 220 animals. That will be work for the older generation on the farm, he warns. The "end of agriculture, he fears, because he knows, that many companies will not invest in new stables but will rather give up.

Wolfgang schultheib's succession to the farm is secure. Son sebastian is currently in training. Another apprentice increases the number of employees. What now takes four workers had to be divided among eight heads if one wanted to get to the working hours that apply in industrial companies, schultheib calculated. A workload that does not necessarily make the profession more attractive.
One of the farmer's concerns was to counter prejudices that animal feed comes predominantly from abroad. Silage maize, grain maize and rabs for rab cakes from his own cultivation on the fodder table. The sugar snippets come from lower franconia.

The steady decline in the number of farms is a cause of concern for politicians. This was confirmed by michelbach and biedefeld in equal measure – even if they both have different views on how this can be countered with agricultural policy funds. The SPD deputy had numbers with her. According to these figures, 113,000 of the 153,000 farms that existed in 1988 still remain today. The trend continues. A structural change to which small and very small farms in particular are falling victim.

Profitability can only be achieved with increasingly crude operations. Training opportunities such as agricultural schools in the flat, rather than centralized, and partial exemption from bureaucracy such as the multiple application for small farms (up to 15 hectares) could help, says biedefeld. These farms also found more acceptance among the population: "I simply maintain that consumers do not want agricultural factories." a sentence that led to discussions about what should and should not be considered factory farming. Biedefeld's idea that there are more animal users than farmers fell on fertile ground with gerhard ehrlich: "of course there are more animal users than farmers, after all, we all belong to it!"

Apparently, a regulation on the spreading of fertilizer, according to which the companies had to create storage capacity for nine months, was averted. The time period for the permitted application (especially in the fall) has been greatly reduced. "We have to be able to get the nitrogen produced on the farm to the plants.", scolded deputy BBV-county chairman martin flohrschutz. Finally, the autumn seed also needs nitrogen.

Hans michelbach also had good news for farmers in terms of building law. The amendment to the building code continues to provide for the privileged treatment of agricultural projects. He also sees the 373 billion euros in the EU budget for the agricultural challenge for the years 2014 to 2020 as a success. They were originally supposed to be shortened considerably. He himself stands by the payments to farms: "anyone who says there is no need for direct aid has no idea of agricultural policy." both politicians agreed that information from those affected is of great value for their work in parliament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.