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February 2012 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.

Viewers Respond: Farm Regulation, Global Warming & Classic Tractors

Feb 21, 2012

These viewer comments were received following the Feb. 18-19 edition of "U.S. Farm Report"

#1: I just wanted to say that while I do not agree with everything in the new bill to reduce kids working on the farm equipment, I do agree that farmers are way relaxed with our young people. I have seen firsthand what it is like to lose a young man in a farm accident and it is not pretty. Our kids think they are invincible but anyone who has lost a child knows better. All that is required to stop legislation like this is for the farming community to take a serious look at safety. Safety is huge, especially in an age where most of the equipment that is being used is big and bad enough to kill a man in a heartbeat. I am a 45-year-old farmer in Colorado, I grew up running equipment like tractors and combines, and I am here to say that the only reason that I am still here is just pure luck. It was just not my time, there were several times that if things had turned out differently I would have lost my life in a farm accident. Our children are our most valuable resource, without them we have no future, so I believe we must do all we can to protect them.

John Distel
Montrose, Colo.

 

#2:  John, Here are more facts on this global warming scam. Let's not buy into this as gullible fools. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/17/global-warming-great-delusion/

Jerry  Mork

#3: 

Hello!  Just thought you'd enjoy hearing that our Saturday morning routine means leaving the house 15 minutes earlier than usual so we can arrive at work in time to dash to the office and catch "Tractor Tales"! Losing that extra 15 minutes of sleep is well worth it to me just to watch my husband enjoying the tractor memories. He has dreams of restoration dancing in his head for a particular old tractor that's sitting in his Dad's shelter belt...maybe someday! We are South Dakota and Illinois natives that wouldn't miss your show. Thank you.
Don and Lenore Neuharth
Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.

 

 

 

Viewers Speak: Regulations, Hedge Funds & Eastern Agriculture

Feb 14, 2012

The following viewer comments were received in response to the Feb. 11-12, 2012, edition of "U.S. Farm Report."

#1: In response to last Sunday's John's World about regulations, I can't imagine anything worse for the farming industry. I am 15 and have been working on a north Iowa dairy farm for almost a year with no problems whatsoever yet. The regulations that Iowa would like to pass would ban kids under 16 from working on farms as employees while kids growing up on the farm can't handle chemicals, animals or machinery. Where does that leave the future of farming? Meanwhile the most dangerous occupation in the United States is being a bus driver.

Alex Bernemann

#2: Did the farmers lose money with the hedge funds? If you look for the government to look after you, you will surely lose. What ever happened to bonding companies? If you lose by hook or crook, your money should be protected. Or you farmers can hire someone to look after your money.

#3:  There have been times when someone from the state of Maine has sent in letters to you, but I think the issues that prompted the letter are left behind when it does make someone take notice of it. I have heard some of those that have been commented on and one was about the lack of funding for farms or ranches in the state of Maine vs. midwestern states despite the fact that we produce just as much variety as any other state. The point is that they swallowed their pride to place their problems on paper and the message was lost in translation. No one seems to understand that there is no substantial agricultural growth on the East Coast not due to lack of will or effort, but due to the state government’s standpoint. This is the state of Maine’s standpoint on beef producers and the funding that is there, but is not available to beef producers: "To be fair, Texas and Montana, as well as many other western states, have an enormous livestock structure and heritage that Maine has never had and each state has to cater more to its own sector makeup."

There is no support for serious agriculture development within the eastern states, not because there isn’t enough land or lack of will, but there is no support or funding and the producers who do get funding have been hand-picked to succeed. I do not say this lightly and I truly wish that I was wrong about this issue, but there is nothing left for me to say other than when I was 10 there wasn’t a road you could drive down without seeing some form of livestock, when I was 20 it was vanishing yet I knew that agriculture was the only thing that would make me happy in life, and this year I will be 30 only to find out that I should have moved to another state before investing in a state that couldn’t care less if you succeed or fail...all they care about is the taxes and revenues that they can get out of you.

Sincerely, Nicole S. Wellman

 

Global Warming - Join the Debate

Feb 06, 2012

Editor's Note: John's recent commentary on global warming -- and his response this weekend in our Mailbag segment -- continues to generate great debate on both sides of the issue. We are posting John's comments, followed by viewer reaction.

U.S. Farm Report Mailbag from Feb. 4-5, 2012:

  TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG....A VIEWER OBJECTS TO MY STAND ON GLOBAL WARMING BECAUSE IT FAILS A HUMILITY TEST:

   "MAYBE HUMANITY IS SIMPLY ARROGANT ENOUGH TO ASSUME THEY HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE AND POWER TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY GOOD AND BAD THING THAT HAPPENS ON THE PLANET."  TOM LINGBLOOM, MINNEAPOLIS

   THIS ATTEMPT TO REFRAME A SCIENTIFIC DEBATE AS A PHILOSOPHICAL OR RELIGIOUS DISAGREEMENT IS A FAMILIAR RESPONSE. HOWEVER, FOR ME IT FAILS ON MULTIPLE GROUNDS.
FIRST, BELIEF IN ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN OR EVEN IMPLY I THINK HUMANS CAUSE EVERY GOOD AND BAD THING ON THE PLANET, TO USE YOUR WORDS. NOR DID I SAY THAT.
   SECOND, WHILE IT IS EASY TO SEE ONE HUMAN AS PUNY COMPARED TO THE VASTNESS OF OUR ENVIRONMENT, MULITPLYING THAT ONE PERSON BY 7 BILLION AT THE VERY LEAST ADDS SEVERAL ZEROES TO THE RESULTS.
    IN FACT, OUR SPECIES CAN POINT TO SIGNIFICANT ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT. WE HAVE ERASED SEVERAL SPECIES, FROM WOOLY MAMMOTHS TO PASSENGER PIGEONS, FROM THE GLOBE. WE HAVE CHANGED THE COURSES OF RIVERS AND CONVERTED VAST SWATHS OF GRASSLANDS IN CENTRAL ASIA AND AFRICA TO DESERT BY OVERGRAZING.
   TRIVIALIZING HUMAN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT UNDERCUTS THE RELENTLESS EFFORTS OF FARMERS AROUND THE WORLD TO CONSERVE PRECIOUS TOPSOIL FARM BY FARM AND MILLIMETER BY MILLIMETER. IT IS NOT ARROGANCE, IN MY OPINION, TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. IN FACT, IT IS JUST THE OPPOSITE.
 
Viewer Response #1:
   Is it possible to get a transcript of this excellent commentary?  I would like to send it to our senator (Ron Johnson, R-Wis.) who insists the phenomenon may not exist and certainly has nothing to do with people. Thanks for any help you can give.
Lynne Santangelo
 
Viewer Response #2: 
   I heard your response and I object to your response on several grounds:
1. Accepting that a small change in the level of a trace gas in the atmosphere will change the climate massively is foolish.
2. Science is supposed to be a search for the truth, but as was proved back when I was in college, even the expectation of a certain result can cause an unconscious altering of the result. When hundreds of billions of dollars or ideology factor in, they are very suspect.
3. Back in the time of the Vikings, the Earth was much warmer than now. Maybe the Roman roads were at fault.
4. The planet's climate history. It has gone from ice ages to extreme warmth many times. No humans were even present.
5. Species have been appearing and going extinct for millions of years without the help of humans.
6. Desertification -- yes, deserts have spread, but before man appeared, the vast Sahara Desert formed where lush forests had been.
   In the Great Plains, there were no trees where there are trees now. There are lakes and farms where there was desert before. Just fly over the desert and see all the circles, the great lakes like Lake Meade and the Great Salt Lake where a much larger freshwater lake once was. If you can say that the planet's weather would be any different than it is today if no humans lived on Earth for the past 500 years, you should go into weather forecasting. Even with supercomputers, weathermen can't accurately predict two days in advance, let alone decide what is causing long-term weather trends.
   When I was a young man in 1970, these same scientists stated unequivocally that New York City would be under ice by the year 2000. An Amish farmer friend told me in late October we would have no winter this year when the experts were predicting a very bad winter. How did he do it? He said, "Thunder in the fall means no winter at all." Believing in global warming shows you to be a very foolish man!
John Geis
Addison, NY
--By the way, the grass is green and we have had only a few inches of snow that lasted a few days.
 
Viewer Response #3:
   Amen to your views today on the impact of  humans on the environment -- and your balanced views on farm subsidies. Please keep up your "voice of reason" as we continue to get inundated by those screaming and calm who seem to disbelieve in reason, demonstrable facts, and the need to take realistic steps to combat the effects of the warming of the planet.
Richard Fassino
 

Viewer Response #4:

   I listen regularly to USFR on Fort Wayne Channel 21. I appreciate especially the panel's weekly market analysis and comment and the commentaries and responses to mail by Mr. Phipps. In recent weeks I have noted, especially, Mr. Phipps's commentary on the economy, the role of government, and climate change. I think Mr. Phipps's analysis of our situation is correct and on the mark. His are important opinions that need to be heard widely in the agricultural community, and I appreciate USFR's service in that regard.

Thank you - Larry Yoder
 
Viewer Response #5:
   John stated that humans caused the extinction of the wholly mammoth. Actually, they lasted 3,000 years on some Siberian island with no evidence of human habitation. They got smaller, indicating food shortages, so they were a stressed species.

Greg Lang

JOHN'S RESPONSE:

Greg: Fair point. Here is my source for the statement:
   Most woolly mammoth populations disappeared during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene,[10] likely due to the combined effects of climate change and hunting by humans. A 2008 study by scientists at Spain's Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales estimated that changes in climate shrank suitable mammoth habitat from 7,700,000 km2 (3,000,000 sq mi) 42,000 years ago to 800,000 km2 (310,000 sq mi) 6,000 years ago.[11][12] Although woolly mammoths survived an even greater loss of habitat at the end of the Saale glaciation 125,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age humans likely hunted remaining populations to extinction, the same fate that befell many other large Pleistocene animals.[13][14]
   A small population of woolly mammoths survived on St. Paul Island, Alaska, until 3,750 BC,[15][16][17] while another remained on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until 1700 BC.[18] These animals were originally considered a dwarf variety, much smaller than the original Pleistocene woolly mammoth.[19]; however after closer investigation, Wrangel mammoths are no longer considered to be dwarfs[20];
   A 2010 study hypothesizes that the decline of the woolly mammoth could have increased temperatures by up to 0.2°C at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere.[21] Mammoths frequently ate birch trees, creating a grassland habitat. With the disappearance of mammoths, birch forests, which absorb more sunlight than grasslands, expanded, leading to regional warming. [More]
Thanks for watching and responding.  John
  
 
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