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February 2010 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.

Missing Acres Again

Feb 25, 2010
Hello John,
    I see that we have setup the "professionals" again to scream that the sky is falling this summer. I remind you of an email that I sent you last year when the acreage reports came out and the "professionals" could not figure out where the extra acres of corn came from, when the first reports at planting showed 3 million acres MIA. Well here we are again with the same scenario. The first guess at crop acres came out and showed 5+ million acres less wheat and soybean acres than last year. But only 2.5 million acres more corn to be planted. So where do we put the other 2.5 million acres at? But I have not heard anyone talk about that missing acres. Just like last year, our experts will forget about those acres until summer when the USDA tells us where they went.  And again corn prices will take a hit while the experts continue to tell us to hold out cause better days are coming on prices. Oh and by the way, I think that we have both seen in the Agri News and article that the figures show a need for at least 3 M acres just to keep up with demand. Well I guess that really clears things up then. I just hope that the bugs don't win, and mother nature just remembers where the water goes. :~) I have told friends before that the only difference between farming and Vegas, is at Vegas you know the outcome a lot sooner than a farmer does.
Michael Rust

Lots of Comments

Feb 22, 2010
***We had quite a bit of feedback following the February 20-21, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...

   I apologize for my lack of corn knowledge up front,  But if I heard you right the biodiesel companies will be short a million corn bushels, but you also reported the large number of micro toxins in the stored corn.  I know these micro toxins could be a problem in feed and producing whiskey, but if it boiled and distilled for biodiesel why can't the micro toxin corn be used for this without a discount to the farmer.
Thank you for your patience.  kjsanville

***John's Reply:
   The problem is the mycotoxins are not eradicated in the process of making ethanol.  This article may help.
Thanks for watching and for your feedback.

    Maybe the financial situations of our governments will open our eyes to how poorly they handle "our" money.  This country was set up so that the private sector provided the services the government tries to run.  They have proven over and over that they are inefficient and ineffective; a waste of the taxpayers money (If the average person spent a week living in government housing, I guarantee they would understand this point.).
    Perhaps we will learn that the private sector doing these services, 1) puts money in the taxpayers pocket, 2) provides better services, 3) produces more efficient results, and 4) ensures the government has the tax money it requires.  Leaving the money in "our" pocket keeps money moving throughout our businesses and will ultimately require less taxation by the government.
    Either the people will have money or the government will have money.  If the people have the money, they will be able to make their own choices, spending their money that keeps the economy moving.  If the government has the money, we have less money to spend and they will make choices for us.
Scott Anderson

   Listening to your broadcast last week it seemed that you inferred that countries in Europe had larger economies than states in the United States. Looking at state economies: and country economies shows the European Union economy about the same size as the United States and countries in Europe similar in size to states of the United States. It seems to show Illinois $633,697 million vs Greece $341,688 million. It might help me if your economists explained these relationships in more detail.
Rollin Strohman, Professor Emeritus
BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department
Cal Poly

    Farmers grow other things besides corn ie tomatoes peppers watermelons swt. corn potatoes ,get the idea? Maybe you should change the name of the show to THE US CORN REPORT. 
Harry Hopkins
     To John and Staff at U.S.Farm Report: In regard to  your weekend shows  it is so good to have John at the roundtable discussions as it gives the viewer an Agricultural Farm based opinion which is so much better for us lay people to understand.   We have a small family farm in Homer, N.Y. which is 30 minutes south of Syracuse.  Enjoy your show very much!  
Annette and Gerald Neuman

A Comment - A Response - And More Comments

Feb 15, 2010
***Editor's Note:  The following are comments received following the February 13-14, 2010 edition of the program...

   The  comment  John made  about  the  consumption again  shows he  had  his mouth  in gear before he  did  much  research---if he  thinks  9% consumption tax would  send  more money to  the  government than we are paying  now he needs to  do more study---with  all  the imbedded  taxes  we  are  paying 23%  if  that  is  more  that  9% he  needs to  re-do math 101.
Don Beaver

Hey - long time, no hear, old friend.  Once again, you heard what you wanted to hear.  The Roadmap for America (Ryan's plan) has a business consumption tax of 8.5%.  Read it here.  And if you check the script that was what I was talking about.

   I watched your program this morning and wanted to let you know that the information you gave about the land rent was incorrect.  I work for Farm Service Agency and we do not have that information.  When someone calls our office about that subject, we send them to our local Extension office or to the National Ag Statistics (NASS).  These two places might be of service.  Also our procedure does ask for land rent prices when they fill out paperwork for government programs. I hope you find this information helpful.
Zelda Cloud

   I live in southeast Virginia and I bought 17 acres of land about three years ago.  I'm 45 years old but I live on a limited budget.  So it's not easy to get into farming if you don't have the money.  There should be more programs to help the people who really want to start a be able to put a house up and farm their land.
James Puchaty


Some Corn Math

Feb 12, 2010

How much CO2 does the U.S. corn crop remove from the atmosphere? Let's do the math. The molecular formula of starch and cellulose is C6 H10 O5. The molecular weight of carbon is 12, the molecular weight of hydrogen is 1, the molecular weight of oxygen is 16. Thus for C, 6 X 12 = 72; for H, 10 X 1 = 10; for O, 5 X 16 = 80 and the total weight of this molecule is 162. The percentage of carbon in this molecule is 44.4%. The molecular formula for carbon dioxide is CO2. Thus for C, 1 X 12 = 12 ; for O, 2 X 16 = 32 and the total weight of this molecule is 44. The percentage of carbon in this molecule is 27.2%.

For plants to produce a tonne of starch and cellulose, they would have to source 888 kg of carbon. Farmers do not fertilize with carbon or carbon dioxide. They get this carbon from the air in the form of carbon dioxide. To get 888 kg of carbon from the air would require (44.4 divided by 27.2 equals 1.63) 2000 X 1.63 = 3264.7 kg of CO2. A fat molecule of C55 H98 O6 would be 77% carbon requiring 1545 kg of C from the air to produce a tonne of fat. This would require 2.83 X 2000 = 5661 kg of CO2 from the air.

This year, American farmers produced 13,000,000,000 bu. or 330,000,000 million tons of corn. They will have produced (330,000,000 - 39,600,000 [of moisture]) = 290,000,000 tonnes of starch, cellulose, fat, and protein. Protein has significant quantities of carbon. When the starch and cellulose figures are used, they suggest that 290,000,000 X 1.63 = 473,000,000 tonnes of CO2 from the air. That's 1½ tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere for every person in the U.S. Corn plants also have roots, stems and leaves, which are also made of cellulose, which is 44% carbon. This may double the amount of CO2 taken from the air. The carbon in these forms is released as CO2 when these plants decompose in the soil.

Carbon has a cycle. American farmers also produce soybeans, wheat, grass for beef, forage for dairy, grain for eggs and chicken, barley for beer, apples, vegetables, racehorses and other products. Perhaps American farmers are taking 2,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2 from the air. The carbon that we consume in the form of wheat gets released back to the atmosphere in the CO2 that we exhale. True, carbon sinks are not that common. Injecting CO2 into the earth may keep it there for a while. Carbon can be captured in the form of limestone rock. This is a slow process which could see the end of carbon-based life forms. Some people talk about the carbon loss when the prairie soils were broken up. A nitrogen-deficient, root-bound patch of prairie sod will not consume nearly the quantity of CO2 that a well-managed crop of corn will.

Yours truly,

Clark Lysne

The Cap & Trade Debate

Feb 01, 2010
Comment #1 
   I just saw your piece on the Farm Report about the first thing to know about C and T is fuel....that it will be expensive.  WHY???  C and T has not come to fruition; farmers are possibly the most respected individuals in this country; if farmers don't "drink the kool-aid" and, one, don't accept global warming, which has now been found to be bogus and, two, show a combined support against C and T, maybe the stupidity that is so apparent with lawmakers currently can be thrown in the manure spreader and dumped in the back 40. 
Philip Campbell
Lexington, Kentucky
P.S.  I'm not a farmer but grew up in a small town in Kentucky and worked on and with friends who farmed.  My dad sold International Harvester/Farmall farm equipment...i have a total respect and real love of farming

Comment #2
   First a question I was under the opinion both houses have not yet signed on to cap and trade and it is not law yet, am I wrong ?  Now for fuel I can not see how using more fuel is cutting down on foreign use I get 17+ miles per gallon MPG with hydro carbon fuel , now lucky to get 16 MPG so I am buying more carbon fuel , now for the legislator that you have his interview on twice , his comment about needing to know where the fuel comes from is naive I see a distributer with no ethanol he gets my business that is the first consideration , up and until ethanol can do (ALL) the other things that oil does,,, it will (I BET  NEVER) replace oil , which brings up the point all the media ever talks about is oil as a source of energy for vehicles and that is just not the whole TRUE story , I shudder to think of a higher percentage of ethanol in my hydro carbon fuel , and a last item and then I'LL shut up all of the push for little tinker toy vehicles is a joke its 100 miles round trip to the grocery there is no way I can haul a week or so's worth of food and all kinds of material in one of those toy cars , thank goodness our governor farmer / rancher in rural Montana and understands these things. 
Thank You,  
Garth C. Good 
Greenough, Montana
Comment #3
  You are totally  wrong  -- after the Massachusetts election  you  will  not  find  enough  democrats  to  vote  for  this  bill for  it  to  pass---do you  think Iowa  would  vote  for  obomation again???
Don Beaver
Comment #4
            On your show this morning you mentioned Cap and Trade, and the fact that it will increase the cost of fuel.  I have no doubt that it will have some effect, but you totally left off the rest of the story,  and why it is a MUST for the farmers and the world! 
            US reached peak oil in 1972, the world reached peak oil in 2009, maybe before, due to over stated middle east oil.  The Cap induces a change to clean energy.  The trade allows at change without huge increase in cost.  Without a cap.  When the next oil crises occurs, which is very near, the price of oil will put the world in a depression not just a recession.
            The farmer will be the producer of much of that clean energy and may even get paid to store carbon.  Did you miss $2 gas = $4 Wheat and $4.5 gas = $22 wheat.
            On the global warming, there is no argument.  Just post the pictures of the increasing ice in the world!   I will watch for them on your show!   If 50% of them have increased in size in the last few years then the world is cooling!
            President Obama has it right. The do-nothing Republican's have it wrong.  Welfare for the rich (war) (uncontrolled healthcare) does not work.
Bill Woodhouse
Power MT
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