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IsaanAussie

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About IsaanAussie

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    Aussie Battler
  • Birthday 07/24/1952

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  • Location
    Ban Hua Sua Sisaket

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  1. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    I hope you are right KS. However the change has happened in our area some years ago, communal plantings and harvests with little cash involved, to tractors and harvesters hired for cash, a scarce commodity within the cost vs return on offer. The age of farmers is increasing and their numbers decreasing. Holding on to the essence of village life is hard to see happening.
  2. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    A lot more to this story than just maize farmers missing out to imported cheaper ingredients. Thailand doesnt produce enough maize to satisfy demand and there is a requirement to buy 3 times to local maize to imported crops. Read the whole PBS article. However CP is involved and the saving of 240 million baht. Globalisation, you got to love it. Issues like this are hopefully what is behind the current Trump Trade Wars. I say hopefully because I liked the rural farming communities in Isaan and would hate to see them disappear with their local towns to large land holdings and corporate farms.
  3. IsaanAussie

    Start a mixed farm in Isaan

    Try your provincial Land Development department office for local soil information.
  4. IsaanAussie

    Clay soil

    You may find it easier to get dolomite. Of the three limes I find it the best to deal with our clay soil in Sisaket.
  5. IsaanAussie

    Pigs 101 (A Start)

    Thanks, the feeders I built were a real winner. The same system was used in the group sow pens, the boars and for finisher pigs. They could be filled from the centre aisle and cleaned out as well so there was almost feed or cleaning mess inside of the pens. Made things a lot easier than trying to feed full size breeders inside the pens. No wrestling or push and shove. Because the feeder tubs are mostly outside the fence they are naturally separated so each pig had its own feed dish, so no arguments. As soon as they heard the feed buckets being filled they all stood and waited at they own bowl. Very civilised.
  6. IsaanAussie

    Pigs 101 (A Start)

    A month or so ago I was asked about my farrowing areas. I have just found a couple of pictures of the pens we use. Sorry there isnt a shot of the whole pen but you should get some idea. They are 1.5 metres wide and 5 metres long and were built as nursery pens. A metre inside the the pen I can attach a fence which contains the sow feeder which is put in place when the sow is placed in the pen to farrow. The piglets can walk under the fence into the 1x1.5 creep area. This allows me an area to handle the piglets without interference from the sow. At weaning the piglets stay in the pen and the sow and fence are removed.
  7. DrTreeLove, I like your report a lot. It is very similar to the recommendations we developed in Australia for some grazing land. We analysed the pasture and the compost that was to be applied and then developed a blend of organic approved additives to be combined with the compost. I hasten to add some MAP was suggested in that case as well but not used. We also had the current grasses tested as a further check. I want to try taking the composting a step further by using biology to improve the plant nutrient availability from some of the minerals etc.. added to the compost. This follows the results I had making up fertiliser from compost, rock phosphate, dolomite and lime for our rice crop a few years ago. I hope that a bit more science and knowledge of the on farm resources available should help reduce the chemical requirement and improve the nutritional value of the crops whilst reducing external costs. Love to have a local agronomical service supporting my small farming efforts. Let me know if you find one (in Isaan would be great).
  8. IsaanAussie

    Compost and climate change

    I have worked with NutriTech closely here in Oz, some very interesting work on prescription blending composts. Their product range is extensive and reasonably priced. Good company with excellent soil and plant testing tie ups and agronomy services to back it up. Would be great to see them or similar offerings in Thailand, the obvious issue is cost and affordability in the local market.
  9. IsaanAussie

    Compost and climate change

    The basics are simple. Matter is neither created nor destroyed, it is simply transformed. To maintain a "healthy" soil depends on sufficient resources to sustain the environment in balance. Chemical agriculture and mechanised farming practices are an easy way to move that balance point but not always sustainably in my opinion. There can be such a thing as too much of a good thing. I think we need to learn (or even relearn) how to gauge what is needed and when in our own micro environments. The big challenge for farmers is to avoid our modern passion for debt.
  10. This is a conversation to keep an eye on. My kind of stuff.
  11. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    FJ, My main paddy totals 12 rai and the current pond about 40x20x4. Similar but a smaller scale to yours. So now you have peaked my interest. IA
  12. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    SRI has long been a dream for me. Planting seeds would reduce the labour of transplanting. My "vision" would be to be able to siphon water (pump if I must) in and out of a series of ponds located in the paddies to provide the water level changes. After all the water is really for weed control and rice can grow without the flooding. Sisaket is one rainfed rice crop per year, either flooded or bone dry. The ponds would advance the rice season, grow fish and provide irrigation for other crops. Has always seemed to make sense to me.
  13. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    Mostly paddies. Have seen rice planted on undulating land the same way but didnt see the results. Water being the issue obviously. With rice prices so low I doubt pumping water would help the cost basis. Your planter looks interesting though, transplanting doesnt appeal to me as the machines seem a bit delicate for the normal Thai operator. Of course the seed beds and trays are all additional. Direct seeding could well be the answer for my area where labour is scarce. Will watch this with great interest, albeit for use in paddies.
  14. IsaanAussie

    Maize and Rotational Crops

    For what it is worth. Most around us in Sisaket will use roundup or equivalent to kill the weeds. Then broadcast HomMali seed by hand while walking in front of a tractor with a 4 disc plough which turns the seed in. Then pre-emergent and some post-emergent sprays. Critical is the timing of rain before seeding and afterwards.
  15. IsaanAussie

    Pigs 101 (A Start)

    Trade wars looming for sure and the current US approach is unsettling. Both the Chinese dominated RCEP agreement and TPP (without the USA) will have growing influence on the local Thai Pig Market and Industry. Companies like CPF are players in most of the markets under those agreements (16 countries RCEP and 11 in TPP) with the 10 ASEAN nations included in both pacts as well as the ASEAN Economic development itself. But CPF and Thaifoods aren't profiting widely with both companies shares trading 30% lower than 12 months ago. Everyone is getting squeezed. CP has controlled prices in Thailand for years by decree but now it is more than just the local market supply and demand, it is at least regionally based. I would advise you to keep an eye on these globalising trade agreements as local prices will continue to be effected by them and by those outside those trading groups like the US. Most ASEAN feed relies heavily on imports of soy, corn and distillers grains from the USA. Last time I looked Thai cost of production was some 50% higher than the figures allowed by the US futures market. Same thing has happened to rubber and rice as globalisation takes hold and competition sources increase. What happens next if the shutters start going up and the USA tries to at least equalise it's trade balances with every nation that has a current advantage, who knows? As feed is the majority cost factor, that's where I would start. If you can get your production cost down to international expectations you will be OK. But reducing that by 50 to 60% is a huge challenge.
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