“Harvest insurance, replanting insurance first and foremost”

One thing is certain, the rapeseed will not germinate in the bags. “. In this 1er August, Mathieu Robert is hopeful of seeing the storms creep in post-sowing of rapeseed. The young farmer decided to sow 50 hectares, the combined area of ​​his 110-hectare farm and that of his father Pascal, who farms 130 hectares in Vouthon-Bas (Meuse). ” We are at 55 €/ha for tractor, seed drill and labour, 40 €/ha for rapeseed, 25 €/ha for associated faba bean, 40 €/ha for fertilizerhe says. At a rate of 3 t/ha at 700 €/t, I think our insurer prefers to see us trigger the insurance for a re-sowing at 160 €/ha rather than at harvest. “.

“A bad year pays you ten years of contributions, so crop insurance is mandatory”

Storms or not, attacks of flea beetles or not, the two producers will take stock on the 1er December and if rapeseed has to jump, it will be to the benefit of peas or other crops, perhaps sunflower, hitherto absent from the rotation. Harvest insurance costs them €40/ha, including the Pac subsidy. ” A bad year pays you ten years of contributions, so crop insurance is mandatory », slice Mathieu.

Mathieu does not only know all his economic indicators: he communicates them cheerfully: “I share the figures because it is the only way to move forward”

On the 2022 harvests, the insurance triggered on peas but not on wheat. Despite the rise in prices, it remained at the threshold of €180/ha for wheat. In 2019, insurance had saved rapeseed, with yields of 13 q/ha and 16 q/ha on the two farms. The logic of sowing in the dry regardless of the weather also prevails for plant cover, “ except that there is no crop insurance for the cover crops “says Mathieu.

The farms have been in soil conservation agriculture (ACS) since 2014 for Pascal, holder of the Apad “At the heart of the soil” label, and 2018 for Mathieu (date of his installation), an approach initiated as part of the GIEE Magic bringing together ten farms on 1500 hectares, all backed by the Cuma de Gondrecourt (Meuse). It enabled its members to invest in three direct seeders of 6 meters, to benefit from the support of experts (Frédéric Thomas, Konrad Schreiber) and to move forward collectively.

“Cutlery is the basis in ACS but we didn’t invent anything, my grandparents were already making cabbage barley”

Individual operators also use the services of AgroLeague and LVMH. ” One: we would not go back. Two: we did not lose performance. Three: we compress the loadsanalyzes Pascal Mathieu. Cutlery is the basis in ACS but we didn’t invent anything, my grandparents were already making cabbage barley “. The accumulation of rapeseed and cover crops amounts to 150 hectares on the two farms, including 85 hectares for cover crops alone.

Pascal and Mathieu Robert can count on their apprentice Thomas, who would see himself integrating into the farm after his BTS
Pascal and Mathieu Robert can count on their apprentice Thomas, who would see himself integrating into the farm after his BTS

Mathieu and Pascal would have liked to sow them behind the combine harvester to give them guarantees of emergence. But between the harvest, the storage of the grain, the removal of the straw and the telescoping of sowing sites at the level of the Cuma, the cover crops have paid the price and find themselves in the dry, in this year of drought, despite the precious reinforcement of Thomas, apprentice in BTS and completing the two UTH.

“More than the cutlery, it is the mower and our Salers that condition the rotation”

Not important. And not just because of crop insurance. ” With alfalfa, temporary meadows and meslins, which make between 8 and 10 t/ha of dry matter, and as much in the roots, which bring us back phosphorus, potash and sulphur, it is the mower and our Salers which condition the rotation », argues the young farmer. ” Meslin is the best anti-foxgrass “says his father. Like what, in ACS, organic or conventional, we have not yet found better than this good old polyculture-breeding… Provided you can count on glyphosate, in ACS. ” I think we’re gonna save himmotto Pascal Robert. But it will be more expensive, we have already gone from €3 to €12 for 450 g and €17 for 780 g. In my parents’ time, it was the most expensive weedkiller on the market, it was an investment “. This was before overuse and overexposure

“At 16.7 cents margin on the chicken delivered to the slaughterhouse, we console ourselves by saying that we have good manure”

Back to our chickens. In addition to the Salers, Mathieu also operates a chicken coop resulting from the takeover of the farm at the origin of his installation. He produces five annual flocks of 16,500 50-day-old chickens. ” At 16.7 cents margin on the chicken delivered to the slaughterhouse, we console ourselves by saying that we have good manurehe quips. But we don’t give up like that on €20,000 in EBITDA and €180,000 in turnover, with the farm to pay “. Beyond the financial stakes, this type of workshop does not fully correspond to his conception of breeding. Already engaged in the direct sale of part of his cull Salers, the breeder has tested the direct sale of chicken. Conclusive test. ” At €13 per bird, I would achieve the same margin with 250 chickens for direct sale as with a flock of 16,500he says. But direct sales, between breeding, cutting, canvassing, deliveries, it’s 35 hours per operation “.

The farm was covered in nitrogen for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns... at €0.7 per unit
The farm was covered in nitrogen for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns… at €0.7 per unit

Break-even points at your fingertips

What is somewhat surprising in the young mixed farmer-breeder-seller is the dexterity with which he handles the figures in general (as illustrated by the 16.7 centimes margin per chicken) and the break-even points in particular. ” I have to take out 300-330 kg/ha of carcass to have a break-even point of €3he explains. In wheat, with 70 t/ha at €100/t, I pay the suppliers with the Pac but without my salary. At €130/t, I pay the suppliers without the Pac. At €150/t, I pay the suppliers and I take my salary without the Pac “. With average prices and yields of €240/t and 70 qt/ha for the 2022 harvest, Ferme du Rondiaux is doing quite well, especially since the farm was covered in nitrogen for the 2022 campaigns. and 2023 at €0.7 per unit.

Mathieu Robert being sampled for salmonella analysis in his 50-day-old chicken production building
Mathieu Robert being sampled for salmonella analysis in his 50-day-old chicken production building

This appetite for figures is due to family heritage, training (BTS at Pixerécourt in Meurthe-et-Moselle), internship in operations (notably with Sylvere Adam in the Vosges), commercial experience at Néolait and finally of his companion employed by a management center. We spare you the figures on the equipment in co-ownership. Mathieu not only knows all his economic indicators: he communicates them cheerfully. ” I’m sharing the numbers cause it’s the only way forward “.

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