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July 2009 Archive for AgDay Inbox

RSS By: AgDay TV, Ag Day TV

Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on AgDay. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

Void of Flavor??

Jul 22, 2009
This may not be something other viewers are curious about but my wife and I wonder why fruit doesn't seem to taste as "good" or "sweet" as it did in the past?

My wife Karen and I notice that fruits don't seem to have the taste they used to have and we wonder, why? I've speculated to her that in the past fruit came from mainly local markets and was picked when it was ripe and delivered to local stores. It was fresh and ripe but didn't have much shelf life. Now, however, is seems like many of our fruits come from distant locations so it may be that fruit is picked before it is ripe to keep it from spoiling by the time it reaches the store and our kitchen. Perhaps if the fruit had been allowed to stay on the vine longer it would have the delicious taste we used to enjoy. The truth is, I haven't a clue and it might even be that I'm getting old and have lost my taste!! (: So, I thought I'd ask you guys and see if you know or have some insight.

Chuck and Karen Hill
1020 Piney Z Plantation Rd
Tallahassee, Fl

Speculator Driven Markets

Jul 16, 2009
At the outset let it be known that Farmers and Livestock Producers need each other to survive. I have been farming for over 40 years, understand this concept and therefore want the livestock industry to continue to be a viable and successful consumer of Agriculture Production. And I understand that the last three years have been very difficult for them. Perhaps though, a little humor might help us to get through this very challenging year. Enter the CFTC who just recently have initiated new guidelines in hopes of curtailing the violent swings becoming more prevalent in the trading pits as of late which is exactly why the Bernard Madoff wannabees have been focusing on the Commodities in the first place. These “Funds” however don’t want to carry this charade quite as far as BM did- at least not to the point of being discovered and perhaps suffering the same end result. But as everyone knows, the most money can be accumulated in the shortest amount of times by creating mentality-both real and unreal- to support these unjustifiable swings. But one does not have to be a rocket scientist to know that when very large pools of money are thrown at any commodity the source of that pool of money can make the market move in whatever direction desired. Is anybody laughing yet? In my opinion, speculators in every segment of our economy put the icing on the cake in the debacle that we all are enjoying now and for the foreseeable future. OK, so now introduce the computer trading capability. Is it totally inconceivable that a Bazillion of these computer generated trades each slightly modified so as not to raise suspicion but all designed to support a market moving in the same general direction gathering momentum as each keys on the previous similar trade? The answer, of course, should be obvious to all if they are paying attention. And then I think we have all recently witnessed regulatory bodies in the government who either chose not to do the job they were employed to do or chose to just overlook certain issues no matter how extreme. That certainly sounds like the responsibility of the CFTC. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I would find it hard to believe that these computer generated transactions are all commission free. But if not then, the CBOT would be very busy monitoring the flow of revenue into their accounts as the volume of transactions as of last year surpassed all previous records. And was this the real reason why the whole concept of options with the related charges introduced in the first place under the guise of “Risk Management” for the producers?

And then fast forward to the USDA who last fall predicted that the Soybean crop from the Southern hemisphere to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 47MMT which consequently influenced the cash Soybean prices in this country to descend from the lofty $13-14/Bu to $9.00/Bu and deteriorating, only to find that the 47MMT shrank to 30MMT before being totally forgotten about. And obviously given the amount of Soybeans that the Chinese purchased from this country, South America was no longer even a factor for the marketing year. Now comes the Planting Intentions Report at the end of March this year when miraculously 7M acres planted the previous year just totally disappear only to surface recently when once again the commodity prices were edging too high. Everyone knows the results of that report which was compiled even before this years’ production acres were even certified. What an accomplishment! I guess that was possible because everyone should also know that today’s “High Tech” Corn is capable of producing 200-250 BPA planted up to 6 weeks after Optimum Planting dates and in some cases totally submerged in water for days/weeks at a time, and even producing equally as well while still in the bag. So I guess we should not really be surprised at what is coming next besides Frost-Oh my! As for me, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry for all Ranchers and Farmers and eventually consumers alike. 
~anonymous

Honeybees

Jul 10, 2009
Hello all ! My name is Ken Davis (age 47, father/husband, family of 5; 3 kids, 9 cows, 17 bee hives and lots of hard work! LOL) Although I've never written you before, I do watch you EVERY day, online. This morning, Al Pel mentioned something about "sticky boards ATTRACTING Varroa mites". Well....not exactly correct. I felt that I needed to at least inform someone of such.

First off, let me say how much I enjoy your show! Awesome stuff! I love it. Being a Beekeeper in N.E. Oklahoma, I love the spots about Honey Bees. I'd actually prefer you DO MORE spots on Honey bees, as they are CRUCIAL to our Eco-system, etc. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in Honey Bees, for various reasons, ie. CCD, chemical useage, etc. Due to such "increased media attention" this has in turn increased the interest in backyard Honey Bee hobbiests. This is a good thing, for sure. Please consider providing more info about Beekeeping, and the various aspects of this wonderful craft.

I am a Beekeeper of 17 colonies of Honey Bees, and live in N.E. Oklahoma, 25 miles east of Tulsa, Ok, in a small town called Inola, Ok. In the past several years, we have harvested at least 60 gallons of honey, from our small little operation. We are usually sold out by Christmas time! Fresh honey sells very fast! Please feel free to contact me with questions, or tips, or subjects to preview. I can give you many, many suggestions.

About the sticky boards. Although Al is correct about the Varroa mite, he's not correct about the use of the sticky board. He had mentiioned that "they are set out to attract the Varroa mite"........not really. The "sticky board" is SLID under the bee colony, much like the bottom of a bird cage tray. When we give our honey bees "grease treatments" the Varroa mites can't hang onto the honey bee...and therefore fall off of the bee, ONTO THE STICKY BOARD, which is located BENEATH the colony. The bottom of the hive, is usually an open screen....and the mites fall down, through this screen and therefore STICK TO THE STICKY BOARD...unable to get themselves off...and then die. The Varroa mite is much like a Tick....it would be similar to a Basketball size tick on the back of a human. Imagine how irritating that would be? The Varroa breed in the bottom of the brood cells, where the Queen lays her eggs....and attach themselves to the bee before hatching. If the population of Varroa mite get to such high levels...they can certainly kill out the colony. There are various treatments Beekeepers use to prevent this from happening. The Sticky Board is not really a "treatment", as much as it is a "tool for counting". After a few days, the Beekeeper will REMOVE the sticky board, and then count the Varroa mites on the board. This overall count, will help the Beekeeper determine THE LEVEL of Varroa in the colony. From this overall mite count....the Beekeeper can then employ a medication method of their chosing. I personally avoid harsh chemcial treatments on my bees. I was taught to use various Essential Oil recipes, such as Wintergreen oil, Lemongrass oil, Spearmint oil, etc. Using various recipes, a Beekeeper can then apply them to their honey bees accordingly. The honey is still safe to consume, and the bees aren't harmed in anyway from Essential Oi l treatments.

I don't know who the contact would be in your AgDay department, but they are certainly free to call me any time, ask me detailed questions, etc. Lets learn! I am a member of the Northeast Oklahoma Beekeepers Association (N.E.O.B.A.). We have a large membership, as bee clubs go. I have been asked to speak, teach and talk at various Bee events. Please feel free to e-mail me at kadyscout@aol.com or call me via cell phone at 918-798-2251.

You are free to contact the O.S.U. Extension office at the Tulsa State Fair grounds, where we meet each month, and inquire more info about the beekeepers in the club. I am only one of many. Every Beekeeper manages their colonies a bit differently. I am well known for my Essential Oils recipes and Solar Ventilator management techniques.

Heck! If you have a "roaming reporter" near my parts....send them my way, and I'd love to give them a great BEE-TOUR! ha! I've done it before. They're welcome to spend the night here, have a great meal and learn deeper things about the Honey Bee and how they're successfully managed. Give me a shout!

Thanks, Ken Davis

(owner; Little Creek Bee Ranch, Inola, Ok.)

Climate-Change Bill

Jul 08, 2009
WE as life-long farmers are OPPOSED to ANY climate change bill PERIOD !! If enacted will cost jobs, loss of money and will put us at a DISADVANTAGE in the world market !! WE are NOT CONVINCED a climate change bill is NEEDED !!! WE are ALSO OPPOSED to a Government run health care bill !!

Joe Fox Family Lancaster, Ohio



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