A Sustainable Future

A Sustainable Future
With the extreme weather we are continuing to see right across the Globe the focus will turn ever more to Global Warming, the intense heat experienced by Europe and the US was unbearable for many to carry out their day to day tasks. Thankfully this is something that only happens in the UK a couple of days out of the year. The fear is that if we do not get a handle on it, these events will continue to become a regular occurrence and will last for a lot longer. This will have a devastating impact on our day to day lives and even more so for the Agricultural Industry.

Crops and animals suffer massively in these conditions and as they are so unpredictable and often unexpected it is virtually impossible to run a sustainable farming business to accommodate them. We know that hot countries like Australia cope fine with these types of conditions, but it takes years of experience to develop a system to suit it and if we then had a particularly wet season all that planning goes out of the window.

We can certainly learn from other regions and share the expertise which we have recently done with a really interesting story from Australia.

Bundaberg district beef producers, Sandy and Jamie McCartney adoption of a large-scale silage production and feeding program enabled them to ‘drought proof’ their operation.

Frustrated by the impact of the ongoing drought, the McCartneys had more than 1500 tonnes of corn silage contract grown and harvested earlier this year and are now utilising the results in their early weaning and finishing program.

Operating in partnership with Sandy’s father, John McCartney of Agnes Water, Sandy and Jamie run about 3500 high grade Brahman cattle across 12,000 hectares of owned and leased land around ‘Bucca Station’, 25 km north of Bundaberg, Queensland.

The enterprise turns off about 1000 steers, surplus heifers and cull cows for the EU and MSA-graded domestic markets each year.

The McCartneys were forced to implement a radical early weaning and supplementary feeding program this year in response to the dry conditions.

“Our annual rainfall is meant to be about 45 inches but we haven’t received that much in the past three years combined,” Sandy says.

“Last year, we spent a small fortune on pellets for our weaners and molasses for our cows and had little to show for it, so I began to look at other feeding options.”

How did they do it? Read the full article here:

Silage ‘drought proofs’ Bundaberg beef operation – Silostop

Future proofing our businesses is one step but the key obviously is the state of the planet. Every one of us has to play a part and take responsibility for the future, living and working in a sustainable manner has to be the norm and not the future.

We at the Milbank Group are taking this very seriously and now have a Group Sustainability Manager to oversee each business and help us all take the steps necessary to reach Net-Zero as soon as we can.

For Silostop our core goal of using less plastic to improve and retain your silage has never been more important and the recycling of our products is also a key part of the process.

Most farmers we speak to in the UK are all recycling their plastic films and other plastic waste which is fantastic but what about the rest of the world?

Well we know that across Europe 7 countries have implemented national collecting schemes, following their local legislation, encouraging users, distributors and producers to set up national collecting schemes for agri-plastics. For countries having implemented NCS, the collecting rate is between 75% and 95%. Once collected, 98% of agri-plastics waste are recycled.

Out of 29 countries, 8 countries have implemented and taken initiative for a NCS:

• Ireland
• Iceland
• Sweden
• France
• Spain (Andalousia)
• Norway
• UK
• Germany

So a start but still 21 Countries to go to get a NCS in place.

The future is in our hands, we must do all we can to reduce GHG and small steps every day add up. We will continue to work in all regions to promote the story and work with farmers of every type to help where we can.