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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Viewers Respond: Climate Change and Honeybees
Feb 25, 2014
***The following viewer comments were received in response to the February 22-23, 2014 edition of U.S. Farm Report…
Viewer Comment #1: John, would you please drop all this climate hoax? ENOUGH! This HOAX has been one of the most successful scams of the last 25 years deemed to make Al Gore a multimillionaire, that part has succeeded. I recently attended one of Drew Lerners weather presentations. His data showed the last warm year was 1998. Every year since, the global average temperature has DROPPED! Another recent news report indicated that NOAA and NASA were manipulating numbers - this is believable based on factual data. Another weather scientist (PhD) from Climate Canada said his models showed global cooling until 2040! Along with that, he said Fargo ND's climate could be what Winnipeg MB's is now.
Don't fall into the trap. Jerry Mork
Viewer Comment #2: The irrigation and drinking water provided by the Colorado River is a model of maximizing its fresh water usage before mixing with salt water in the Gulf of California. If fact, very little if any Colorado River water reaches salt water as Mexico uses the remainder of this precious natural resource and commodity. Compare this model with the fresh water in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. To make matters worse, the State and Provincial governments of the US and Canada have usage rules which allows only those in the Great Lakes watershed to use the water. This protection is designed to keep water thirsty areas from eyeing the Great Lakes for its water source and also ensure the Great Lakes keep normal or natural water levels. But there is a fresh water wasting question. There obviously is a location in the St. Lawrence River before it reaches the tidal basin where the fresh water is never brackish. This water is probably the most wasted fresh water commodity source in the world. While I have no idea of the financial cost of extracting and delivering this source of fresh water to drought areas, the fact that it is fresh water is priceless. Is there a problem with extracting water before it reaches the tidal basin and becomes brackish? No one ever complains about desalinating ocean water. However, the cost of such operation is prohibitive except for drinking water. Yet collecting water just before it becomes salty would save on all of the desalinating costs. Just something to think about…Terry R. Krukemyer
Viewer Comment #3: Your report on California vegetable production was right on. With wild weather all over the world the move to locally produced food, including fruit and vegetables, makes sense. It is good for the environment, consumers and gives new opportunities to young producers. Denny Verhoff
Viewer Comment #4: Could you please send me a copy of this week’s comments on the issue of honey bees? I am working on an innovative planter modification to solve this problem. Keep up the good work. I am surprised your views and comments haven't ended your career as a TV journalist. Thanks, Paul Henkel
Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of John’s comments from the Mailbag segment…
Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report Mailbag. Richard Paton in Ontario sends us a heads-up about regulatory action on a widely used pesticide. "Concerns about bee health have become a big problem in Ontario and there is talk of banning neonictinoids which would be a financial burden to farmers." Richard, the suspected link between neonictinoids used to treat seed corn and honeybee die-offs has already triggered a temporary ban in the E.U. The pesticide regulatory agency in Canada will rule soon on a petition to ban the use there. But the problem seems solvable to me. As long as new neonics stay on the seed underground they pose little threat. It is the inadvertent combination of modern planters which use high velocity air for seed handling and the addition of talc on the seed to prevent seed flow problems. When the talc contacts the seed and then is hit with a blast, talc particles are so fine they can spread farther than farmers can imagine. This problem is largely blowout when lifting and turning at field edges. When dust lands on flowers, it can kill bees with miniscule doses. This is the working theory, anyway. A replacement lubricant, better planter design and operator training can fix this it seems to me, along with farmer awareness of what talc escapes really mean. Farmers don’t want to kill insects they are not aiming for, and a little innovation up and down our production chain can resolve this.