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March 2013 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 React: Gas Tanks, Future of Farming & Snakes

Mar 27, 2013

***Editor’s Note: The following are viewer comments in response to the March 23-24, 2013 edition of U.S. Farm Report…

#1: I noticed a fuel tank (on your show) over 118 gallons. This is an "act of terrorism" according to Homeland Security. Check the website of U.S. Custom Harvesters to monitor means to change this law…Another goof on the part of congress. Harry Wallace

#2: Hello John Phipps, I watch your show every Saturday morning and you have mentioned several times your concern about the future of farming. So I am curious have you heard about Agenda 21? The EPA and UN have joined forces to make our world a better place. They are planning on creating “sustainable communities”, you should read it. In the end farming will be owned by big business. Three-fourths of our land will be wildlife sanctuaries and people will live in what is known as "stack em and pack em" housing. I really enjoy your show keep up the good work. By the way I am neither a farmer nor a Rancher. Bea Riley

#3: You said economists are pretty sure we can only spot bubbles in hindsight. Then you said that farmland is not a bubble and won't burst. Why would you say we cannot predict bubbles immediately before making a bubble prediction? I found it amusing. Kerry M. Bryson - Union County, Mississippi

#4: Dear Mr. Phipps; While watching the U. S. Farm Report this morning and watching your very interesting presentation on farming in Tanzania, Africa, you described one snake (do not remember the exact name of it) as the most venomous and most aggressive snake in the world! While you may be correct in the aggressive part of your statement I think you erred on the most poisonous part. While visiting the Australian Zoo (formerly Steve Irwin's Zoo)I saw a sign for a snake that is the most venomous snake in the "World" as 1 drop could kill 100 men and there is no anti-venom for it! I realize this wasn't part of the question for your "Mailbag" but wasn't sure how else to let you know as I certainly do not want you giving out "false" information!!! Sincerely Yours - Kenneth Naysmith

Viewers React: Milk Labels & Customer Surveys

Mar 18, 2013

***Editor’s Note:  The following comments were received following the March 16-17, 2013 edition of U.S. Farm Report…
#1:  John, I get survey calls almost weekly this time of year. They were usually interesting and even paid a bit for some when I used to answer their questions. Now in the past six or seven years I cut them short with the same answer but they still call. I explain that we retired from farming in 2007 and have rented the land to a neighbor  on a cash rent basis, so I have no input on the product decisions. About half will ask for the name and number of our tenant which I don't give, he probably already gets enough survey calls. So this does tell me one thing, apparently the AG product advertisement force must not share names like I think most every other industry does.  Frank
#2:  When it comes to surveys I either click no thanks or just simply close it out.  I do not fill them out.  When I do and that is because of either poor service or poor quality in whatever they do I do not hesitate giving a bad grade.  They get what they deserve is how I see it. 
You have a good week.  Jim Brancheau
#3:  Come on John, please tell me that you used this to make an interesting editorial and not that it really bothers you.  I agree with you that often the forms are one more method of making the retailer/seller think they care, but often they do look at the extremes of comments.  If you are dissatisfied, make a comment, and if you are very satisfied, do the same, otherwise do what most do and not take the time to worry about it, rather hit delete or throw the item into the recycling bin.  Be glad somebody at least appears to care what your experience was and gives you an easy method to let them know your thoughts.  We should all be thankful that we live in a society that at least gives us the opportunity to show our opinion, whether it be about customer service, or your reaction to getting the requests. 
Kirk Gibbs - Upper Sandusky, OH
#4:  Is it a good thing to combine a wholesome food product (milk) with something not necessarily good for you (an artificial sweetener)?  It seems this defeats the goal we have in agriculture of producing wholesome food people want.  Combine that with what the neurology professor told my wife’s veterinary school class which was stay away from all the artificial sweeteners, especially saccharin, as they mimic neuro-transmitters in the brain.  I will take my milk without extra fake sugar please.
Art Swannack – Lamont, WA
#5:  Dear Mr Phipps; This is in response to the information on Sunday March 17th program about the dairy industry wanting to put Aspertame in milk. When the FDA was asked by the dairy industry to put Aspertame in milk, I was shocked and appalled. And was more so when I heard they wanted to do this without a label.  What has happened to America, when a Government agency wants to put a known harmful chemical in milk, and not label it. The milk industry could better serve the American public by making a better product rather than put chemicals in milk. I do hope someone has the intelligence to say no to this issue, but then again when the director of the FDA is the past vice president of Monsanto, it doesn`t look promising. And by the way, I am a dairy farmer, have been for most of my life. > Thanks Marc

Marc and Catherine Gravert
Spring Valley Farm
Fulton, IL

John Reviews Apple Maps - Viewers Respond

Mar 13, 2013

***Editor’s Note:  Below is a transcript of John’s commentary from the weekend of March 9-10, 2013…followed by viewer response:
John’s World:
  Most farmers use Microsoft windows, but as more mapping technology utilizes iPads for displays, many are getting introduced to the sometimes strange world of Apple.
   One recent quirk in the Apple operating system – IOS – is the recent addition of Apple Maps – software to compete with Google Maps.  Apple Maps was so goofy it spawned a family of jokes, like “A man using Apple Maps walks into a bar…or maybe a church…or a school…ba-dump-bump.”
   Like others, I simply waited until Google rushed a new version of maps for IOS6.  But Aaron pointed out one amazing plus for the much-derided Apple product.  If you zoom down in the satellite view, you do not get FSA maps like Google Maps.  Instead you get an image that was taken about mid-afternoon during September 2011.  The reason I can tell with such accuracy is the image clearly shows our house, farm and combine with amazing detail.  Not only can you see the machines in the field, you can tell the combine grain tank is about half-full, and the grain cart has the auger out.  The tracks of the grain cart are easily visible.  Down corn from a strong wind is obvious, as well as places where dry weather stunted the beans.  In fact the whole image is amazingly detailed – especially when you think it’s taken with a camera 22,000 miles away.
   Rural America may not be as isolated as it seems any more.  And always remember the closest eyes are often straight up.

Viewer Response:
#1: Dear John, I had to chuckle this morning while watching your comments regarding Apple Maps and the similar Google Maps.  I've had no experience with Apple Maps, but was similarly surprised a couple of years ago to see the detail in Google Maps of our farm.  In 2011 the photo was taken sometime in late July because you could clearly see which parts of a wheat field had been harvested.  The current photo was taken sometime in late September or early October because of the same situation with sugar beet fields.  You can even see our lawn mower parked outside!
    What has troubled me the most actually occurred several years ago when Google had their Street View van roaming the countryside.  Apparently on the day it drove through our neighborhood we were in the process of cleaning some old junk out of the house, including some old furniture, which can clearly be seen sitting on the front lawn.  I still find it amusingly embarrassing that our house has (apparently) forever been enshrined by Street View as a "white trash" home.  The only thing missing is the pickup truck jacked up on blocks with the hood up!  Looking forward to the reports on your Africa trip.
Embarrassingly yours,
Kent Wagoner
Parma, Idaho

#2:  John, you are right on regarding the lack of privacy.  You mentioned that the publicly available overhead pictures are from September of 2011.  Those pictures are in plan view only.  When I went on an AFROTC trip to Forbes Airforce Base in early 1998, we were shown the technicians using successive pictures to make 3D images.
   Likewise, that satellite can make a trip around the earth every 90 minutes.  just think how many potential 3D images of your activity are not available to you.
   Also, when you go to that same website and click over a city street, you can move the little yellow man onto the street and rotate him around.
   It is well known that the government records every transmission over the air.  While not analyzed, that information is always available for snooping at will at any future date.  The word is that a new storage site is under construction in Utah that will have the capacity to hold a century of electronic communication.
   I have to laugh at the privacy statements that come with every financial account.  What a joke!  In the world today, if an investigator wants to determine every fuel stop you made on a two week vacation, I would speculate that he would be able to do so.
David Snider



Viewers React: Bees, African Adventure & a Classic Tractor

Mar 04, 2013

***The following viewer comments were received in response to the March 2-3, 2013 edition of U.S. Farm Report…
#1:     John Phipps was showing off his home pool on a recent episode of US Farm Report.  I noticed that there was no security fence enclosing the pool.  Where I came from in Arizona, the law requires such a fence, for the safety of young children.  This is a good law.  Please put up a fence.
    Also, on John Phipps' trip to Africa:  This is great.  Africa has the capacity to feed the world all by itself, if only they could get beyond their political problems.  I highly encourage your team to have someone keep tabs of Al Jazeera English.  They offer the most extensive worldwide coverage of any news organization, followed closely by Xinhua.  I also encourage Al Jazeera to follow you folks at US Farm Report and Agweb, along with Ag Professional.  Some of the people at Al Jazeera say some really naive things related to agriculture.  They could benefit from paying attention to the agricultural experts.
Peter Gadwa
#2:  Oh, yeah……I bet there really are some outstanding agricultural opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uh huh!! After all it's just been 10 years since the native population of Mozambique literally declared government sponsored open season on white, European farmers!!  Remember?? Here's a reminder in case you forgot: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/16/world/white-farmers-flee-to-mozambique.html.   After white European farmers did the initial work and had to leave it behind, I bet there are thousands of plow/planter-ready situations!! Yeah! that's a place I'd like to invest time and money, not to mention my life and the lives of my family!! Sheesh!! "Fools rush in" comes to mind right here, John. Tell me……..Why is that?
Dick House – Arthur, IL
#3:  Hi John (et al), just got around to watching this weekend's show. Thank heavens for Tivo.  ;-)
From what I've read, locally produced honey is supposed to be the best for your immune system.
I pay $6/lb for locally produced honey; the supermarket chains around here sell mass-produced honey from a couple states over for about $4/lb.  After reading stories about adulterations in Chinese honey, what they've done to France's truffle market, and toxic waste + lead being mixed into materials used to make children's toys there, I wouldn't eat honey imported from China if they gave it to me free.  :-|
I'll happily buy Chinese photovoltaic panels, as long as they want to sell them to us for less than they're paying us for the raw materials to make them; it's a dumb move by our government to add tariffs to that. But not anything I eat... if the manufacturers aren't going to tell us on the labels where the honey in their products come from, I won't be buying BBQ sauce, et cetera, with honey in it, either.
Have a great week!  Darr

#4:  I can remember my father having a Massey-Harris tractor back in the late 1930's. It was on steel and all 4 wheels were the same height. It was 4 wheel drive and I think it was chain guided.  Dad said it would climb right up a fence post. I think it was built in the 1920's. I saw one parked in a yard in Viola, Kansas, back in the mid 1950's. It looked as if it had been restored. Would you please find one  and do a TV story on it? I am a weekly viewer of your show. I live in Ponca City, Oklahoma; but I grew up on a Kansas farm, wakening up to Bruce Behymer (Farm Director on KFH Radio in Wichita, Kansas), ringing his cow bell.  You can take the boy off the farm; but you can't take the farm out of the boy.
Don Richardson - Ponca City, Oklahoma

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