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28 January 2018


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I was very surprised watching a BBC 'The Farmers Country Showdown'. One prize winner for innovation was using single milking only per day. Couldn't believe it

The curious thing is that humans are not biologically geared up to drink cow's milk.

After a mother weans her toddler off breast milk most children develop a natural intolerance for milk. This is nature's way of stopping them wanting breast milk as they get older. Upset tummies and mucus build-up making breathing difficult often follows if a child is not weaned.

It's just another of those things that we are not geared up to do, like eating large amounts of meat, that have been exploited by commerce to make money.

For what is a rather banal subject this issue seems to have attracted a lot of interest so I thought I would further add my penny worth of thoughts to keep the conversation going
Taims Bipo.

As a youngster I used to spend most of my holidays with my relations who had a small 1000-acre mixed farm on the banks of the Goulburn River in the upper reaches of the Goulburn Valley.

In those days, non-paying guests including children were expected to work for their keep.

In today’s time children are somewhat mollycoddled however back then children were regarded as small adults and treated accordingly.

Before my uncle engaged a share farmer to manage his dairy he used to do all work himself so we would be up at 5am and would head off to the dairy.

Same old routine- go down to the paddocks and herd some 100 cows up to be milked whilst my uncle would fire up the pumps and separators ready for production.

After cows had been milked and released, next chore was to load up the milk churns full of cream then drive the tractor and trailer up to the main road to the delivery ramp.

Back to the shed, clean up the waste manure from the holding pens followed up by a wash down then feed the pigs and poddy calves with the left over curd.

Duties finished by 8am and after a small diversion to relocate the irrigation pipes in the adjoining paddocks we would head off back to the old homestead for a well-earned hearty breakfast.

The same routine was repeated in the late afternoon.
Although my uncle would have received an above average income from specialising in cream rather than milk production to improve the farms overall viability it was necessary to diversify into other forms of agriculture mainly grain and forage crops as well as operating a small fuel depot and store.

Many years later when talking to one of my cousins I found out that in fact my Uncle’s most profitable form of income came from his activities as a SP bookmaker.

So there you go - farming per se is not all that profitable
Tude Taim.

Many years ago I used to doe rural valuations in particular Dairy Farms.

As people pour their milk on their cereal each morning not many would know what a cruel industry the dairy farming is, which after all, is all to do with pragmatism for producing the possible maximum returns on capital invested.

The most important key ingredient for successful dairy farming is apart from good arable land is – Water, Water and plenty of it.

No bulls required these days due to artificial insemination, no pesky off spring to worry about as pregnancies terminated to keep the full production of milk flowing.
Even the foetus has economic usage as a gelatin waste product.

No small and costly fixed fenced paddock needed as internal fencing is controlled by movable electric fencing nor is any mustering required as cows have been educated to wander up to the milking bales by the incentive of a good feed on offer.

I believe if that story on the Catalyst program is correct, that in certain areas of NSW the added burden of labour costs have been eliminated by the introduction of artificial intelligence, which now runs most of the whole show.
George Orwell move over!

Peter – In the Mary River valley of Gympie, which is one of Queens land’s prime dairying area, the farmers with computerized stock control management systems, good arable paddocks and more than adequate supply of water resources have managed to run one beast per acre.

In the commercial world any business that has a good, sustainable and profitable income stream is referred to as being a “cash cow” operation.

So it would seem to the issue in question that the proponents of the planned scheme have been sidetracked somewhat by the rhetoric rather than the facts.

Acknowledging the danger of milking this topic, I remember giving a talk in Mendi many years ago to a mixed group of local and expatriate people. One of the participiants had a T-Shirt with large writing on it. It may have been aimed at myself – as I was giving the talk – but I could not help being very amused rather than offended at the writing and it still sticks in my mind. His T-shirt had the words “MY COW HAS DIED, I DON’T NEED YOUR BULL!”

CLTZ was producing milk in Banz from the '60's to the '90's. They supplied most towns in the Highlands. There have been dairy herds in PNG for around 100 years.

The following link is worth reading:

For many years there was a dairy farm at CLTC (Christian Leaders Training College) near Banz. (Now Jiwaka province). they used supply fresh milk to Hagen etc. I do not know if the dairy farm is still there or not.

The only other comment is that they appear to be planning on having paddocks dedicated to growing stuff to feed to the cattle, which will be in open-sided feed lot sheds.

I suspect that, like grain fed beef, there will be a disproportionate amount of feed required to produce a litre of milk. That is, they will feed to each cow what could usefully be fed to ten or twenty humans.

So ignore the platitudes on the website about providing healthy food for humans. It is all about healthy food for rich humans and, of course, about making money.

No doubt there are a few pollies already on the gravy train.

Not only will they be richer and fatter but soon they'll be farting and belching a lot more.

The project seems to be a good one.

Check out the website:

The only thing I would dispute is that it will be the first dairy in PNG. There was a dairy operating near Port Moresby in the late 1960s and 70s. They mixed fresh milk with powdered milk to produce a reasonably palatable product.

It is so much easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled - Mark Twain

I was wrong. I was skeptical of this, but is seems a legit project, though shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless it is another of those mysterious Israeli projects in PNG, protected by tariffs and supported by Government funds. There is is more here than meets the eye.

I used to work on a dairy farm. As a rule of thumb you need 2 acres of grassy paddock per head per year. Which means this farm needs around 1,500 acres of grassland. Has anyone seen this? Maybe the cow jumped over the moon.

John, the problem is that if people always accept the unexpected then it simply becomes the expected.

Those responsible then laugh at those they have so easily hoodwinked.

Imported milk being slapped with high tariff while local production realistically wont be able to meet the demand.

Something does not add up!

In PNG, always expect the unexpected.

Maybe they should just outsource the supply from Woolies.
Still $2.20 litre last time I looked.

Ol bulamakau meri,
Singaut olsem,
Mipla gat planti,
Susu istap.

Yu kam na kisim,
Bisnis nau girap,
Igat planti moa
Bulsit istap.

Maybe the former SunRice (Trukai) and Murray Goulburn executive leaders Gary Helou and Brad Hingle are involved.

The function of leadership is to create more leaders, not followers - Ralph Nader

Rather like the new empty hospital in Yes Minister:

Hi Francis - It would be wonderful if the farm starts successfully producing milk which is cheaper and tastier for the Port Moresby markets. But why did this need a huge tariff of 25% applied to all imported milk - both fresh and UHT? Why is all milk consumption being hit with massive tariffs when local production is so small?

Even if you wanted to support this farm, a much more effective way is direct subsidies per litre of production. Yet Ian Weiss says that he will be able to supply milk at K6 per litre rather than the current fresh price of K12 per litre. So why is there even any need for a tariff - he already has a K6 per litre price edge and people would generally prefer to buy PNG-made?

And, of course, there is also a hidden capital subsidy by PNG taxpayers on top of these extra tariff costs for PNG families. Yes, there is a K100m investment in the farm, but K50m of this came from government (Central Province K30m and National K20m).

Couldn't this K50m be spent more effectively on local health, education and transport, or even on better ways to support the agriculture sector including through better extension services to small-holder farmers. Is this the best way to support agriculture in PNG?

Yet again, I suspect PNG is being well and truly milked for all its worth. And in a crossword puzzle what is the answer to the clue "Milked for all its worth". Answer: Bled dry!

Moresby air-conditions cows' bails and cows are fed silage and grain. Or hay and grain.

Which still leaves the question, where will the feedstock come from? Reminiscent of caged laying hens!

However still doesn't stack up to K100 million.

Perhaps there is the Imitation Cowboy factor to be considered. It's got the Ali Baba feel about it.

The McGucians from Northern Ireland had a lot of successful dairy farm experience in Saudi Arabia many years ago.

That was, until they got ripped off by the Saudis.

Weirdly interesting, Harry.

Hi Paul, I like the Aussie slangs. Got my head reeling with laughter.

Goodness knows how where this later cowboy comes from.
Sounds like a job for the stock squad.

Hi Francis,

Perhaps the report is more about bulldust rather than cow poop?

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