Comments: 269 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

skepsis42042 karma

Is this an accurate portrayal of what farm life is like?


rjbowes2 karma

Okay so that is EXACTLY how i do it in reality, i do actually use farming simulator to hone in on my weaknesses as a farmer too...

souricecream13 karma

what do you farm? livestock or plants? hemp? soy beans? corn? weed?

rjbowes35 karma

The farm is in England, UK so the crops I grow are oilseed rape, wheat and oats. We also farm 3000 sheep. We grow weed and feed the sheep with it for entertainment.

piratedel11 karma

How much does a bale of silage go for these days?

rjbowes6 karma

about £15

piratedel3 karma

Is that English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish pounds?

rjbowes9 karma


piratedel12 karma

Follow up question then.

Have you ever had problems with Crop Circles?

rjbowes16 karma

I haven't but I know that some farmer's just want some 15 mins of fame and do some themselves...absolutely no idea why you'd want to do that though tbh.

edb1359 karma

What % of your income is based on government subsidies, and are you paid to destroy any of your crops?

rjbowes11 karma

About 60% is through subsidies but they go onto crops/livestock and maintenance so it's not direct profit. We don't get paid to do that but if they get destroyed through flooding/drought then we get paid.

Brichals8 karma

Do you listen to the Wurzels?

rjbowes19 karma

Oh man, Combine Harvester is my most played song on my ipod...

Justforflavor4 karma

so...what do you farmers do in the spare time?..

rjbowes22 karma

Drink beers in massive quantity's. There are always social gatherings in the form of hog roasts, ceilidh's, absolutely any reason to throw a party and there will be. the best time is when harvest time is over - all the farmers go crazy drunk for a while.

FindThePineapple3 karma

How did you get started? What does one have to do to start a farm?

rjbowes2 karma

Its a family farm. Erm have loads of money and know what to do! Easy.

High5ive7even3 karma

Ford or Chevy?

rjbowes37 karma

Neither, John Deere ;)

ThatBitterJerk1 karma

This is interesting to me. Is it because John Deere are of higher quality? I know New Holland and Massey Ferguson (now AGCO) have assembly plants in the UK. Are John Deere's competitively priced, or are they just superior in quality and worth the extra price?

rjbowes2 karma

They are just good all round, like they are value for money essentially. The highest quality tractor in my opinion though would be Fendt. They are ridiculously good tractors, some can be operated via remote control. Insane. I also have Massey Fergusons, they are good tractors but I just prefer the layout of John Deeres.

VorkosiganGirl423 karma

What is lambing season like? I've heard it can be very intense, but I would love to hear about it from someone who really knows sheep.

rjbowes2 karma

In all honesty it's awful. Its 24 hours a day. 7 days a week for approx 4 months. Its also happening right now. The worst part is if the sheep has any complications during the birth of it's lamb then it gets shot basically because if we took it to the vets then the cost would outweigh the cost of the sheep so its cheaper to shoot it as horrible that is.

karmapillar3 karma


rjbowes9 karma

Im new to reddit so I have no idea how i'm supposed to prove I'm a farmer in all fairness!

hang2er6 karma

A picture of your barn yard or farming equipment with a hand written note with today's date and the name of your ama listed would be pretty rock solid IMHO.

rjbowes20 karma

I understand how ridiculous that sounds, but watch this space for proof via a sheep.

rjbowes12 karma

It's basically midnight at the moment here, but I swear I will take a photo of my combine harvester with a hand written note first thing or I could get inventive and put a note on a sheep. Would that do?

rjbowes6 karma

How would you like proof?

GaryOakTPM3 karma

How much heat you packin? Tell me when to stop ....................................................................

rjbowes2 karma

Haha if you mean firearms, a lot...all legal of course, my 12 bore shotgun is my fave.

romietomatoes2 karma

Have you heard of farmersonly.com ?

rjbowes2 karma

I haven't, what is it?

DaBioGeographer2 karma

What is a chicken? Because if a hen is a female chicken and a rooster is a male chicken, what is a chicken?

rjbowes3 karma

Chicken is dead hen like beef is dead cow, so technically when people say look at those chickens, it's like saying look at those beefs...

Vitilago2 karma

I am a farmer in the northwest area of America, was wondering how different it is in the UK compared to farming in america from what you've heard

We are wheat farmers btw

rjbowes2 karma

I guess just the climate would be different really? I also grown wheat, but the size of american farms are also a lot bigger than ours so I guess you would use larger machinery and employ more people to work for you?

spockified2 karma

Are there any unusual easements on the property? If so, how does it affect your property?

rjbowes2 karma

Yeah, there is a public footpath that runs straight through the middle of the farm. Sometimes the walkers get lost. I refuse to help them as having the footpath annoys me but I can't do anything about it. Its not close to my house so I guess it's not TOO bad but I still feel its trespassing.

onrocketfalls2 karma

I want to farm on a small scale. Livestock or plants. What's the best thing to start with? I was told raising pigs is fairly easy to get into. How are sheep? You have 3000 of them. Maybe you wouldn't be able to really tell me. I have to ask, though.

Just in case there's any significance to this information that you know of: I'd be in northern Mississippi in the US.

rjbowes3 karma

My personal opinion of crops is that they are the worst thing to get into, because of our temperamental weather its very difficult to harvest them and even to plant them is trying, especially last year with the constant rain. Pigs are not easy, they need constant care as they need to be inside most of the time unlike sheep and cows where you can put them in a field and they look after themselves. Plus the cost of selling pigs as bacon etc is low, think how much you pay for bacon and pork and the quantity in comparison to lamb? Sheep are easy to maintain and sell, but the current prices aren't too good, we sell them at 1.30 a kilo but if you look at what the supermarkets are selling lamb for its like £8 a kilo - we're getting ripped somewhere. Northern Mississippi? I guess its pretty hot most of the time there, I'd probably grow vegetables like peas or pumpkins, or even grow cotton? Its a different climate to me so I'm not too sure! Plus if i had my own way I'd run a huge livery, i have space for approx 40 horses and i can charge people £50 a week per horse....its a no brainer but i need the initial start up cost, which is easier said than done.

DAJOKA502 karma

is there anything in England where the government pays some farmers to not grow crops, similar to what we have in America?

rjbowes2 karma

No, we get paid more for environmentally friendly/sustainable aspects of farming, such as beetle banks and planting hedgerows. What crops do American farmers get paid NOT to grow? I'm not sure how the farmer would get paid not to grow something...

redbeast22 karma

On a scale of 9 through 10, how good of a farmer could I be if I got half of my facebook friends to water my crops on farmville?

rjbowes2 karma

A pretty crap one, crops need way more than water ;)

roflgoat2 karma

What do you think of the EU?

rjbowes3 karma

I'll get back to you on that one, I could write a book.

grantpk2 karma


rjbowes3 karma

I have proof now http://i.imgur.com/zSOMPTA.jpg I know there's no username BUT it's definitely me.

White_Devil_x22 karma

Perhaps you have some tips, me and my husband recently bought 30 acres. He wants to start a farm when he comes back from deployment, and so far hes planning on starting with pigs, chickens, and goats. Not sure when or what crops hes going to start with. More or less do you have any suggestions for someone just starting a farm?

rjbowes2 karma

30 acres is enough land to start a livery, horses are where the money is at. Unless you can part with your animals to slaughter, if you havent named them, then sheep will make more money than pigs/cattle/goats. In my opinion. Unless you just want animals to look at then get two of everything.

ThePrnkstr2 karma

So the average farmer that grows....you know...food n stuff....I've always wondered...

  • After the field is plowed and seeded in spring...do you just use half the year to paint the barn for the uptenth time and twin thumbs before harvest, or am I missing something here?

Like how bussy are you from a scale of whatever you like? Do you work 8-10 hours a day 6 days a week or?

Now, don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against farmers, and I've sort of always dreamed of being one, but this whole "gap" between harvest and what ever there is to do in the wintertime is something I can't wrap my head around...

rjbowes2 karma

Okay so I plant the seeds in august/september straight after harvest, not spring time. The crops are then sprayed with fertilisers, insecticides/pesticides until harvest time, june/july/august, depending on the weather. In the winter it's lambing season....doesn't really leave with me a lot of free time. I've never painted a barn in my life and I refuse to start now no matter how bored I get.

vusroderp2 karma

How accurate is farming simulator 2013?

rjbowes2 karma

Every farmer has to prove he/she is capable on this before entering the real world.

causalcorrelation2 karma

My brother is (a serious hippy) and really into things like organic and grass-fed farming, and what-have-you. Are you one of these types of farmers?

If not, I have an additional question for you based off this idea. My brother is under the impression that farmers who are not organic/grass-fed/what-have-you are basically like factories that produce things without regard to quality; because, for example, they can always give their dairy cows more hormones to make them produce milk.

In my mind, his view is stupid, because even in those markets where things are artificially made healthier, there is still competition for the prestige of "most healthy."

After that long-winded explanation, here's my question: Is your farm devoted to quality (loaded question)? Or do you throw caution to the wind and allow modern chemical engineering to cover your butt?

Please feel free to answer in a long-winded manner.

surroundedbycorn3 karma

Your brother is free to purchase his own land and produce his own grass fed beef.He may even turn a profit if he does it right. As far as hormones equaling more milk it just doesn't work that way.The anti-farm people would have you believe farmers are forcing barrel loads of evil chemicals and hormones down our cows throats while evily laughing our way to the bank.Not so.We consume our own beef and pork if you want proof that its safe. I personally have always taken pride in the quality of what I grow.I think most farmers do also but yes there are some peckerwoods out there that dont give a rats ass and they are the ones that make us look bad.Example-a few years ago there was a documentary on HBO that showed a hog farm in Ohio.The kid that got a job there wore a hidden camera and showed without a doubt some of the worst animal cruelty and poorest farm practiced I've ever seen.When the case came to trial the farm community rallied around the hog farmer and supported him.That was wrong.That farm created much trouble for the rest of the industry and those who attempt to treat their animals in a humane way.The people should have made an example and put those bastards behind bars where they belong.They should never be allowed to own another animal.My opinion.

rjbowes2 karma

I like this opinion.

rjbowes2 karma

Its a fairly simple answer if I'm honest, if you use organic methods of looking after sheep for example trying to get rid of disease or infection by using herbs and chants then the sheep is most likely going to die a horrific death. If you use the correct antibiotics and other 'toxic and extremely harmful chemicals' to treat it then it's most likely going to live a long and healthy life (until it meets a bolt-gun) I am unbelievably against organic farming. They increase the chances of spreading diseases in sheep and the crops. I don't understand how the hell crops can grow without application of pesticides/herbicides, it baffles me a little bit.

whitespoon2 karma

What is your average day like?

rjbowes2 karma

I never have an average day, and its never 9-5. Ever.

dabunk72 karma

Where do you live and what do you grow? Any FFA experience?

rjbowes3 karma

I live in the North East of England, UK and I grow oilseed rape, wheat and oats along with rearing sheep. Unfortunately not, I have to deal with DEFRA. I hate them. Bastard pen pushers in suits who don't have a clue as to what a pair of wellies look like never mind making up our rules and regs.

JackAttackMe1 karma

If I wanted to be self-sufficient as possible in an area similar to England, what should I grow?

rjbowes2 karma

Oilseed rape and vegetables. You can use the oil for heating and obviously eat the veg. If you dont mind bumping off a few animals for some steaks and lamb chops then have a few cattle and sheep too? Maybe hens for eggs also.

verminform1 karma

Ever had an experience with Monsanto (GMO)?

rjbowes1 karma

No, just because I've heard that people who use their GM seeds have ended up using more herbicides and insecticides than normal. No idea why though.

fletchx011 karma

thank you our lives would not be possibly without you!

do you grow soy or corn?

if so do you use monsanto's GMO seeds or do you clean you own?

what is your opinion on monsanto's monopolization of the seed market?

rjbowes2 karma

We grow corn, wheat mainly. I guess monsanto is big in the US because unfortunately I haven't heard of it! We clean our own seed though, the majority of farmers i know do that too - its cheaper ;)

Grindl1 karma

How much in subsidies do you get each year?

rjbowes2 karma

£220, 000 give or take.

Jaksongitr1 karma

Where are you located and do you need a hired farmhand? If so how much is the hourly wage?

What crops do you generally produce and/or livestock? Your thoughts on the vertical farming concept? What are your ideas on how to continue sustainable food production for a growing global population? Do you personally use any sustainable methods? What about 'organic' foods, hype or gripe?

rjbowes2 karma

The beginning of this sounded like you wanted a job. Hourly wage? Those words don't make it into my vocabulary I'm afraid. I get paid if I make a profit basically. I grow wheat, oilseed rape and oats along with rearing sheep (3000). vertical farming is (excuse me) fucking ridiculous. I mean wtf is all that about in all honesty. It just isn't practical, like the majority of things it looks good in theory but in practice it's a shambles. I'm an environmental scientist so I've studied these concepts and I understand how it could work with regards to the fact that they can be built anywhere regardless of the climate. But can you imagine cultivating etc inside a skyscraper? I just have visions of some serious accidents happening.

nikk67851 karma

Have you ever played farmville? How close is it to the real thing?

rjbowes3 karma

Very close, in fact it's practically a real-life simulator, i invite everyone i know to help me and they just ignore my requests.

woohuu1 karma

How are the farm prices treating you at the moment?

I hope you're getting good prices for your products.

p.s. I love oats, thanks for growing them.

rjbowes1 karma

The prices currently are and always will be absolutely horrific. But I get by so it's not too bad. P.s. farmers ALWAYS complain about money.

tokerdytoke0 karma

do you lift bro?

rjbowes2 karma

I lift sheep, obviously.

magicjumbuck0 karma


rjbowes1 karma

Not really, unless you're offering and I can take you upstairs to my hay bale? ;)

PostsCrapPuns0 karma

Are you my Uncle Owen?

rjbowes1 karma

Unfortunately not...