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BANGKOK 27 May 2019 09:59

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Thanks again. I will always try to think about a 'norm' tree - average soil, fertilizer, treatment, water, tapping skills etc - as if I go out in the Nong Khai wilderness and pick a tree that on DateInAsia would be rated Average. All I need to know is the age. And I will think in gross production.

I have now read the entire thread (is the good Mr. Collister the same man that has videos on youtube?).

Anyway - would like to try again with some uploaded material (source: Wiki. Layer 4 on the photo is called 'phloem' and gives nutrition to the tree by capillar forces, layer 5 for a rubber three is the latex vessels that are to be cut ortogonally to get the most latex, and layer 6 and 7 are the bark and the skin. In total a mm or so. Cutting too deep damages the tree's nutrition source. As an experiment: Take one tree, cut 2-3 mms around the circumference, and it will die.

The video shows these latex vessels and how they form a helix - hence why the cuts are made with an angle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPMl_xDnC5A&feature=fvwrel

post-24876-0-54206700-1307155781_thumb.p

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A few remarks/requests please:

1. In the post above I forgot to say cut 2-3 mms in a YOUNG tree.

2. By 'gross' I mean the produce of the tree as 'dried cups' - before any split or mat making or ... (I understand that even this concept is difficult, in my ex wife's village some people have to go faaar away to sell their rubber because they used to 'increase' the produce by putting stones in the cups).

3. Could a mod please delete post # 46. I must have been more drunk than usual, since I didn't even manage to edit it down to zero. Thanks.

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With regards to the last few posts, I would like to turn this post around to a subject that perplexes me somewhat, and i am not trying to be smart. I really do not understand. Maybe someone will enlighten me.

I have mentioned that last years average RSS 3 price was about THB100/Kg. (Actually it was THB 116.08)

Tothemark has now revealed that last years average cup rubber price was THB 55/Kg. A fact I can accept completely.

WHY?

For the added extra work and equipment needed, why are farmers making cup rubber when they could double their income by making sheets?

Clive

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Two things: 1. I have read,that although fertilises are nesecery and importent for the trees,and therefore also for the output of liquid,they do not,in the short perspectiv,enhance the production of it.Is this correct? Like if you give fertilisers to strawberries,the leaves will benefit,but less fruit. 2. Why do people pay 200 baht/hour to tappers?! I have 800 trees and the tapper cuts them in 6 hours.If I paid 40-50%,he would get about 1600-2000 baht. Now,I have done some cutting myself,and I found it to be not so hard work and working nighttime,when there is no burning sunshine but cool weather,is different from,let`s say,planting rice or cutting sugarcain,,something that pays far less.OK,you can say,that cutting rubber takes more skill then planting rice,but whatever work you compare to,rubbercutting pays a lot more.By the way,when I say "not so hard work",I can add,that I am 68 years old with no previous experience of this work,so my point is,if I do not find it hard,why would a younger ,experienced person do that...

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The answer to why farmers go on with cup-rubber for about half the price is,that making sheets takes away appr.half the weight,which means,the final revenu will be the same,but making sheets takes a lot of more work plus the problem with storing them.

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The answer to why farmers go on with cup-rubber for about half the price is,that making sheets takes away appr.half the weight,which means,the final revenu will be the same,but making sheets takes a lot of more work plus the problem with storing them.

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The answer to why farmers go on with cup-rubber for about half the price is,that making sheets takes away appr.half the weight,which means,the final revenu will be the same,but making sheets takes a lot of more work plus the problem with storing them.

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Two things: 1. I have read,that although fertilises are nesecery and importent for the trees,and therefore also for the output of liquid,they do not,in the short perspectiv,enhance the production of it.Is this correct? Like if you give fertilisers to strawberries,the leaves will benefit,but less fruit. 2. Why do people pay 200 baht/hour to tappers?! I have 800 trees and the tapper cuts them in 6 hours.If I paid 40-50%,he would get about 1600-2000 baht. Now,I have done some cutting myself,and I found it to be not so hard work and working nighttime,when there is no burning sunshine but cool weather,is different from,let`s say,planting rice or cutting sugarcain,,something that pays far less.OK,you can say,that cutting rubber takes more skill then planting rice,but whatever work you compare to,rubbercutting pays a lot more.By the way,when I say "not so hard work",I can add,that I am 68 years old with no previous experience of this work,so my point is,if I do not find it hard,why would a younger ,experienced person do that...

I better correct myself before somebody else does it;It`s more like 300 Baht/hour.And the six hours is the time I need for the work.My stepson does it in 3 hours,which would amount to 600Baht/hour! Another thing,the percent is on the selligprice.I do not no of any other labourwork,where this is the case (I could be wrong).If you harvest corn,rice,sugarcain,whatever,you do not get paid depending on the sellingprice.About quantity,reasonably skilled tappers will have about the same amount in kilos.In other words,wether the selling price is high or low,the work is exactly the same and should therefore be paid the same amount.Some people pay per tree,eg 50 satang/tree,which is more logic.But of course,up to anyone to pay what he wants,I`m just curious as to why.... By the way,sorry for the tripple-post...

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Bosse,

It seems to me that profit sharing is the only way to go as far as being a foreigner here. I've left my brother-in-law in charge of all my farms for the past 7 years and he's done a great job. Yes, he is very trustworthy... This has included jobbing out all our farm machinery (close to 20 yrs. now...)... They're all well maintained and as busy as feasibly possible.

Next year, when tapping starts, he'll get exactly 50% profit - tho' first year won't be too much. My brother-in-law has hired permanently 6 or 7 villagers to tap our plantations and after they have had a trial period under the supervision of a well-experienced tapper (govt. supplied for free BTW), they will be on payroll but not for only tapping. We will share the cost of the tappers, tools/lights/cups, etc., fuel costs, machinery, etc. in other words, everything.

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Bosse,

It seems to me that profit sharing is the only way to go as far as being a foreigner here. I've left my brother-in-law in charge of all my farms for the past 7 years and he's done a great job. Yes, he is very trustworthy... This has included jobbing out all our farm machinery (close to 20 yrs. now...)... They're all well maintained and as busy as feasibly possible.

Next year, when tapping starts, he'll get exactly 50% profit - tho' first year won't be too much. My brother-in-law has hired permanently 6 or 7 villagers to tap our plantations and after they have had a trial period under the supervision of a well-experienced tapper (govt. supplied for free BTW), they will be on payroll but not for only tapping. We will share the cost of the tappers, tools/lights/cups, etc., fuel costs, machinery, etc. in other words, everything.

Interesting,scotbeve.As I said,up to each to pay what he wants,and as long as you are happy with the arrangement,that`s great!Although I must say,that being a foreigner has nothing to do with it.In my neck of woods,I am the only foreigner here,and I am also the only one who not pay 40-50 %..Everybody else,Thai,does.When I ask them why,they say,that is what has always been paid and also,otherwise nobody will work for them.OK,always been paid;of course,till a few years ago,when the price was 15-20 baht/kilo,it made sence.But now,at 70/80,it does not.And will not work? snick-snack,not true.I have more than a few,who wants to work for me.I pay 500 Baht for cutting AND giving chemikal in the cup.That is not a bad pay for a days work..

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Hi all

been off line for awhile, so have missed a bit . Anyway will toss my 2 bits worth in on a few questions. Yes I am the guy on you tube.

Cup rubber does not fetch the same price as sheet, dry cup is roughly half the price of dry sheet. Thais do cup because it is easy, less work and no need for machines and smokers, A Thai farmer can tap his trees go back to sleep, tend his rice or what ever and leave the rubber in the cup. When the cup is full he just throws it on the ground to let it dry. Then one day he will go pick it up and sell.

The income question, don't know how many times over the years this has been covered and I don't have an answer, I have over the years turned somewhat Thai and have long given up on keeping numbers and figures. I don;t even know how many trees we are tapping. All I can go by is how much cash is sitting on the table once a month when we sell. As last season was really our first year of tapping and the trees need time to lean to give up their latex. I know that the better trees produced around 5 kilos of RSS last season, how much improvement this year time will tell. You can not work the numbers on a tree 'day, month, kilo etc. You have to do it on a year by year base and remove your costs. Not much use if your trees are super producers and making rubber like it is going out of fashion if you have to pay out more than they earn. Remember you may be on 50 % with your tappers, but they will not be paying half the pickup truck, tractor or rolling machines costs. That's out of your pocket. It all adds up and you need to spend money to make money. At the end of the day you may have lost money.

Some one mentioned why not just hire tappers on a day wage, won't work, to start you would also need to hire grass cutters and people to fertilise and take general care of your plantation. Add to this if you hire a day man and he goes out to tap and the rain starts you will still have to pay him and you will have earned nothing. Last year one month during the rains we got only 5 tapping day, but the tappers went out every night that it wasn't raining just encase it stayed dry. Jim

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Hi all

been off line for awhile, so have missed a bit . Anyway will toss my 2 bits worth in on a few questions. Yes I am the guy on you tube.

Cup rubber does not fetch the same price as sheet, dry cup is roughly half the price of dry sheet. Thais do cup because it is easy, less work and no need for machines and smokers, A Thai farmer can tap his trees go back to sleep, tend his rice or what ever and leave the rubber in the cup. When the cup is full he just throws it on the ground to let it dry. Then one day he will go pick it up and sell.

The income question, don't know how many times over the years this has been covered and I don't have an answer, I have over the years turned somewhat Thai and have long given up on keeping numbers and figures. I don;t even know how many trees we are tapping. All I can go by is how much cash is sitting on the table once a month when we sell. As last season was really our first year of tapping and the trees need time to lean to give up their latex. I know that the better trees produced around 5 kilos of RSS last season, how much improvement this year time will tell. You can not work the numbers on a tree 'day, month, kilo etc. You have to do it on a year by year base and remove your costs. Not much use if your trees are super producers and making rubber like it is going out of fashion if you have to pay out more than they earn. Remember you may be on 50 % with your tappers, but they will not be paying half the pickup truck, tractor or rolling machines costs. That's out of your pocket. It all adds up and you need to spend money to make money. At the end of the day you may have lost money.

Some one mentioned why not just hire tappers on a day wage, won't work, to start you would also need to hire grass cutters and people to fertilise and take general care of your plantation. Add to this if you hire a day man and he goes out to tap and the rain starts you will still have to pay him and you will have earned nothing. Last year one month during the rains we got only 5 tapping day, but the tappers went out every night that it wasn't raining just encase it stayed dry. Jim

Jim,

Like most family businesses in the LOS, one picks the most trustworthy member (yes, folks - there are some indeed...) and puts him / her in charge of a "project" - especially when the owner is in "remote" mode. I look at it as Jim does. Every different plantation will be just that - different numbers. An annual nett profit is the only way to look at it. We can estimate all we want or use numbers from producing rubber plantations for a VERY ROUGH figure. But in the end, price fluctuations, weather, and plantation maintenance will dictate you nett result. Another point I would like to make is that just growing one product will get one in trouble as 10's of thousands of Thai farmers have been in the past. Be diversified - we have 5 products, one being rubber which is only costing us money at the moment... but the other 4 products go up n' down as markets dictate.

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Cup lump 69 baht/kilo yesterday in Chiang Rai.

Thanks Chang! Any word on USS prices in CR?

BTW - Would you happen to know the most recent news about the Chiang Saen "collection point" of rubber for export " to the north"? My S - I - L is involved with the "co-op" for the north at the Amphur level and so far, everything sounds upbeat....

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