Sep 19, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions Sign UpLogin


March 2009 Archive for U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

RSS By: U.S. Farm Report, US Farm Report

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

A Dairy Dilemma

Mar 30, 2009
Dear Sir:

I am a third generation dairy farmer. My father still owns and runs the small dairy farm. My brothers and I have been forced to find work in the construction and manufacturing industry to survive. I am concerned of what may happen to the small family farm we helped build. The price of milk is almost devastating for a small producer. I am asking if there may be any positive outlook for the small family farm?

Alexander Egloff
Western New York

HR 875...what is it?

Mar 23, 2009
*Editor's Note:  HR 875 is drumming up quite a bit of discussion in farm country...below are some viewer emails, followed by comments from John Phipps that appeared this past weekend on U.S. Farm Report:

   What is this HR 875 Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. How will this affect the backyard gardeners, farmers market gardeners? I'm starting a wholesale rooted cutted business and grow veggies too. How will this effect us?  I'm not hearing to much on this but bad news. Should we be contacting the congress reps? Thank you in advance for any info you can give us down hear in rural southeast Iowa.
Donna Borowycz 


   Albeit an unpopular subject, food safety should be at the forefront of farmers priorities.  It will be the future of American Agriculture.  Like all of us that have been involved in agriculture for our lifetimes and the generations before;  we have all seen some horrific occurrences & transition to where we are today.  Look at it in these terms:  would you want your granddaughter or grandson to consume the food that you produce.  If the answer is yes - then you're doing a good job.  If the answer is questionable, you had better rethink your practices. 

 
   Because we as a whole have been negligent;  now government is going to become involved.  If we don't take immediate steps to improve, unfortunately, because of a lack of concern;  WE WILL BECOME REGULATED.  We can fight that all that we want, but it is a fact.  We've been apathetic too long.
   
I for one, having used more man-made chemicals and fertilizers than most people will ever comprehend (let alone see) in my lifetime, feel that organic is THE ONLY WAY TO PRODUCE SAFE FOOD.  No-till agriculture breeds more usage of chemicals.  As difficult as it will be to make that transition back to organic agriculture, (food was produced organically dating back forever - until the 1940's)   it's the right thing to do.  As "digital photography" has become "photography" - "organic agriculture" needs to become "agriculture".  The only common sense reason for resistance will be economic based.
Kind Regards, 
Douglas Moser
Clearwater Country Foods
Genesee, ID


   Someone told me there is a bill that is in Congress to ban all forms of organic farming. I would like to know if that is true?  Thank you for your time and have a nice day    
Jake Roland


*TRANSCRIPT OF COMMENTS FROM JOHN PHIPPS FROM THE MARCH 21-22 EDITION OF U.S. FARM REPORT:

     TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAIL BAG...
     FAITHFUL VIEWER DAVE SCHNEIDER INVITES ME TO JUMP INTO THE MOST RECENT INTERNET ALARM. HERE IS ONE SAMPLE EMAIL:
     "THESE ARE TRAGICALLY SOLEMN TIMES CALLING FOR SOLEMN RE-DEDICATION OF EACH OF US TO THE FIGHT TO RETAIN AND RESTORE FREEDOM. FOOD IS JUST ABOUT THE BEST PLACE POSSIBLE TO START. KILLING HR 875, S 425 AND ALL RELATED BILLS IS THE BEST PLACE TO START."
     THANKS A BUNCH, DAVE. HERE GOES. I HAVE READ THROUGH HOUSE BILL 875 AND ALSO SOME OF THE COMMENTS POSTED TO TRY TO GRASP WHAT THE CONTROVERSY IS HERE. WE'LL HAVE LINKS SO YOU CAN DO THE SAME.
     THE OVERALL FOCUS OF THE BILL IS TO CENTRALIZE FOOD SAFETY REGULATION INTO ONE NEW AGENCY: THE FOOD SAFETY ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
     THE OBJECTIONS TO THIS BILL I HAVE SEEN FALL BASICALLY INTO TWO CATEGORIES. FIRST, WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE REGULATION OF ANY KIND. SECOND, FOOD SAFETY REGULATIONS WOULD PUT SMALL FARMERS AND FARMER MARKETS OUT OF BUSINESS WITH INCREASED COSTS.
     WHILE BEING AGAINST MORE REGULATION SEEMS REASONABLE, THE RECENT SALMONELLA PROBLEMS, DOWNER CATTLE, AND FOOT AND MOUTH PROBLEMS HAVE TRIGGERED A STRONG MOVEMENT TO AT LEAST HAVE MORE EFFECTIVE FOOD SAFETY REGULATION. OUR CURRENT OVERLAPPING SYSTEM OF AGENCIES SHOULD BE CONSOLIDATED, I THINK, TO AID THIS GOAL.
     AS FOR SMALL FARMERS, MY QUESTION IS THE BASIS FOR EXEMPTING FOOD FROM SAFETY RULES BASED ON SIZE OF OPERATION. IF YOU SELL FOOD, YOU SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO SAFETY STANDARDS. I'LL HAVE MORE ON THIS LEGISLATION IN UPCOMING SHOWS.
  
  

Farm Bill Debate

Mar 18, 2009
   I am writing in response to John Phipps' end commentary on March 14th's show.  The problem with the farm bill or any other government program is that they will never be fair.  Giving someone something for nothing and not others is never fair and that is what farm subsidies, bailouts, welfare, etc. are, free money.  I truly hope they never give anything to livestock producers, it would ruin the industry and its market.  Bailouts are unfair, the discussion now rages about home mortgage bailouts.  Handouts would be given to those who could never afford the mortgages in the first place, while those who have been making their payments get nothing, outrageous.  But this is not a new concept without precedence.  In the early 1980's farm land values collapsed, those farmers who had gotten themselves in over their heads could not make their mortgage payments.  There were others who were in financial trouble but were making their payments.  PCA and others, through a government supported bailout, simply wrote off the worst producers debt and handed their farms back to them for free.  Was that fair to the farmers who were struggling, but making their payments?  America is made great through the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit that is made possible by a capitalist system.  This means though that you have as much right to fail as succeed, in the end it is up to you.  This system is what produces the best and most efficient and weeds out what is not.  Yet, the federal government, with its current Congress and Administration want to lead us down the same tired path.  Mostly this is just to sound good, with a good deal of ideology thrown in, in order to sustain job security through entitlements.

Sincerely,
Ryan
Jamestown, ND



   I do not like the present farm program because it cost the taxpayers money and does not help us enough. The safety net established is not adequate for our cost of production in 2009. I would like to make a profit from what I produce and not government payments. I would very much like your comments on an idea I have. I would like to know if you think it would work or why you think it would not. The previous loan program before 1985 gave us a good floor price for our commodities. Our reserves grew to the point that we had too much in storage. My idea now for this day and age is similar to the loan program but different. I would like for USDA to buy commodities that they can store when that commodity is below what USDA figures to be the national average cost of production plus handling. This commodity would be considered as a reserve for our nations benefit for bad years. They could sell and buy new commodities to keep it fresh as required but other wise they could not sell the commodity until the national average price to the farmer reached 150% of the price given when purchased. This should prevent excessive prices that were seen in 2008. It would benefit farmers, cattleman, and the ethanol industry. USDA I would hope could make a profit from storing the commodity and at the same time have a reserve for bad years. Farmers saw what happens to input prices when our price went high. The competition for the inputs was too much for the supply. There needs to be some rules established to prevent the reserve from getting to large. Another way to reduce the reserves and I think is needed just as much as a floor for our production is charity to people in need of food word wide. This should aid in National Defense and reduce terrorism against our country.
 
Sincerely Yours,
David W. Smith
Hart, Texas

 

Too Much Nonsense???

Mar 16, 2009
There seems to be too many people getting involved in farming these days.  Ending horse slaughter has crippled the horse business.  I as a horse farmer have had to pay the price of keeping unwanted horses now for almost two years.  There needs to be some relief.  Is the government going to start paying the feed bills for the animals?   Now they say they want to put a tax on cattle and hogs.  Charge farmers for creating dust!!!!!!  When is all this nonsense going to stop?
Ernest Boren  

 
 
 

What About Wheat?

Mar 10, 2009
   There was talk that there would not be a battle for acres this spring between corn and soybeans. I was surprised that it was not even mentioned that with the drought in Texas and Oklahoma etc that wheat could be a wildcard player for some acres. After all wheat is the leader in the grains. Do we have that much reserve? 
Reggie Gassman

Pulling for Peanuts

Mar 09, 2009
Hello,
 
I am not a farmer, but I watch your program every Sunday morning and love it.  I was a little disturbed by the report about peanuts.  I love peanut butter and have not stopped buying it since the scare.  I was on a medication for a while that made peanut butter taste terrible to me.  I was so upset.  When I was able to eat it again, you can be sure that I started eating it again. 
 
My logic is, I believe that the government has recalled all the products that were contaminated.  I believe that every peanut product in the stores is safe.   With this contamination scare, I believe that the peanut products in the stores are so safe that there can be no doubt about it.  I say go get that peanut butter and make cookies, sandwiches, whatever.  Keep buying.  Support our farmers.
Thank you for allowing me to comment.

Diane Wilson 

Digital TV Debate

Mar 03, 2009
John,
   Your comments on the Sat. Feb.28th show about digital TV were right on the money. This is the most annoying thing to come along since dial-up internet connections. The folks who live out where there are no connections to cable TV or DLS internet service at any price, let alone reasonable, are left holding the bag. The only consolation is that even if we could get good TV service, there isn`t any thing on for anyone over 50 to watch! Even NASCAR has gone so "Hollywood", it is almost unwatchable. I guess the next step is a new TALL antenna tower! Lord knows when we will see DSL...
Pat Bachtel (Grumpy Old Hoosier)

John's Response:
Pat: 
   Thanks for watching and for your feedback.  I was, of course, trying to be humorous, but the digital switch has not been easy for many rural residents.
   We have similar reception problems, and decided to invest in satellite - you can get basic packages for about $35/month and we use satellite for broadband as well ($80).  This is a lot for many folks, I know, but is one of the prices we pay for getting to live separated from a lot of problems.  Jan and I consider it an investment well spent, as we now can watch her garden shows and my woodworking and scifi shows - and have a DVR as well.
Thanks for writing.
John

John,
   I disagree with you about the new ditgital TV.  We bought a converter box, but we live to far away for it to work.  Elderly citizens can't go out and buy a large new TV.
Susan Reynolds

John's Response:
Susan:
Thanks for watching USFR.  I'm sorry your experience with the digital shift has been unpleasant.  I was trying to be humorous, but I understand the change this must be for many rural residents.  You may find you don't need a new TV, but a satellite connection (still not cheap, I know) will solve most problems.  Regardless, thanks for writing.
John

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Here is the full transcript of John's commentary on Digital TV:

   THIS HAS BEEN A HARSHLY TRYING WEEK FOR MANY AMERICANS AS OUR WORST FEARS ABOUT THE FUTURE HAVE BEEN REALIZED. TOO MANY OF US ARE FACED WITH A CHALLENGE WE THOUGHT WE HAD DEALT WITH YEARS AGO, BUT INSTEAD OF LOOKING FORWARD TO YEARS OF CAREFREE ENJOYMENT, WE ARE STRUGGLING TO ADAPT TO A BLEAK AND CONFUSING FUTURE. wE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO OPERATE A NEW REMOTE CONTROL IF WE ARE EVER GOING TO WATCH TELEVISION AGAIN. 
   lIKE MANY OF YOU, THE OVERWHELMING CONFLUENCE OF FORCES SUCH AS THE SHIFT TO DIGITAL BROADCASTING, SCANDALOUSLY LOW-PRICED BIG-SCREEN TV'S, AND PEER-PRESSURE FROM BUDDIES WHO ALREADY HAVE HI-DEF PUSHED ME TO SAIL MY ENTIRE COUCH-POTATO LIFESTYLE INTO UNCHARTED WATERS. IT HAS NOT BEEN PRETTY. AFTER THREE DAYS, I STILL CAN'T FIND ALL MY FAVORITE STATIONS, I HAVE TO PUT ON MY GLASSES TO FIND THE MUTE BUTTON, AND I ALTERNATE BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE TOO FAT OR TOO SKINNY DEPENDING ON THE ASPECT RATIO - WHATEVER THE HECK THAT IS.  bUT THIS IS NO TIME FOR WHINING OR SHIRKING. THIS PATRIOT KNOWS BUYING A TV AND H-D IS ONLY MY FIRST CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY. 
   JUST AS I AM CONFIDENT WE WILL CLIMB OUT OF THIS SILLY RECESSION THING, I ALSO BELIEVE IN A BRIGHT FUTURE WHERE I CAN BOTH FIND AND RECORD STAR TREK RERUNS. YES, I CAN.
 
 

 

A Quote Comment

Mar 03, 2009
   I've watched the U.S. Farm Report every Saturday morning for several years. It is a fine program full of interesting news and valuable information. I also look forward to the weather forecasts, American rural lore and weekly quotes of wisdom as well. I can usually find no fault in any episode but on Saturday, February 28th a quote by the Feminist author Jilly Cooper raised the hackles on the back of my neck: "The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness, can be trained to do most things." Whether spoken in jest or tongue-in-cheek, had it been said by a male about the female gender the Feminists would've been quick to denounce it as sexist and yet another example of male arrogance and insensitivity. Apparently, we males aren't the only ones who practice what may only be perceived as a double standard.
Yours truly, 
Rick Coleman
 
Flint, MI

John's Response:
   Rick - thanks for watching and for your feedback.  I choose the quotes myself, so it is my sense of humor that is at issue.  I have noticed over the last few months a distinct increase in our sensitivity to umbrage.  My guess is the changes we have witnessed have put us all more on edge and less likely to laugh off suspected slights.  
   I accept your criticism, but find the quote in question to be about par for my selections. No offense was intended.
Thanks for writing.
John

'08 Grain in the Bin...WHY???

Mar 01, 2009
Hi John...I almost fell out of my chair, when you admmited on live t.v in front of all us other, regular old farmers, that you still had '08 grain, IN the BIN  unpriced. I am shocked,  You of all people hear in person from the great advisorrs on the show about putting a floor???  Or protecting the grain on hand??  And all the other terms that I would wager 75% or more of us have no idea, or the $$ to do..I look forward to listening to you and Scott.
A fan, Cliff

JOHN'S RESPONSE: 
Cliff - thanks for watching.  I'm going to use this for next week's show.  But suffice it to say, I don't do fancy marketing.  I use forward contracts, and farms storage, period.  I have tried to "upgrade" my marketing several times and seem to lack the discipline and time to adopt the tools our gurus insist we must learn.

 
More next week.

 
John
Log In or Sign Up to comment

COMMENTS

 
 
 
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions