U.S. Farm Report Mailbag
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.
Lots of Letters
Apr 28, 2009
Editor's Note: The April 25-26 edition of U.S. Farm Report drew lots of viewer response, covering everything from ethanol to the death tax to wind energy. Take a read for yourself...
Congress is now pondering what it will do with the Agricultural Death Tax. This bill involves much more than just keeping the family ranch or family farm in the family. The looming crisis is how to keep the family farm or family ranch producing food. Under the current IRS codes, rising operating costs, rising property costs and the stupidity that has become the norm in Washington, how long will we be able to feed ourselves (U.S.A.). We have seen a decline in agricultural exports from 30% of our total production in 1960 to the current 30% shortfall. We now import 30% of our food needs and as Ethanol grows in demand the Dairy and Beef industries will have to rely on foreign corn and other grains to feed our cattle. As this out sourcing escalates so will the prices at the grocery stores. Your Wheaties are going to get real expensive. Social programs such as welfare, health care and education are extremely important but they pale in comparison to a nation that can’t feed itself. We can stop our loss of agricultural lands but it has to happen now. We spend billions each year on the preservation of our Federal Wilderness Areas, State and Federal Parks and our U.S. Forests. I would think politicians would be as philanthropic towards a declining industry that struggles to feeds them. Ranchers (or farmers) don’t want subsidies or bailouts we just want to be left alone to feed American, do our cowboy thing and hand down our heritage to our children.
To date, yall have not failed to deliver an excellent program, Congrats to all!!! This week's show, (4/ 25-26/ 2009), was outstanding for two reasons -
1) Mr.'s Scott and John gave an extended dialogue after the news highlights. Even for just
a couple of minutes longer that usual. I believe it give us a bit of insight into the thoughts of not
only those who report the media events but a reasoning out of events. Given the situations
with the Budget, Congress, Environment and other matters I found it refreshing.
2) The Video Mailbag response. I do hope you will be able to do this again. Mr. Corzine's feedback was insightful and informative. He mentioned many facts and figures that do not make it to the general population from most of the news media, (USFR is among those who are the
Yep, this show was a trend setter and ranks up in the top. Yall keep up the GREAT WORK !!!!!
Yall have a Gud-un now, Ol James.
Saturday morning you mentioned the top 5 wind states. Where does North Dakota fit? I did not see it ..with only 650,000 residents and rated more windy than Chicago the windy city,,how do we get more of that business?
You are the first corn farmer that I have heard say ethanol is not the greatest thing since slced bread. The fellow who rebutted you last week's comments on ethanol was more than a little disengenuous.
When he said that burning ethanol reduced tailpipe emissions by 30% he neglected to mention that ethanol has only 77000 BTUs and 30% more will have to be burned to produce the same energy as burning a gallon of gasoline. Could this be no decrease in total tailpipe emissions?
He also infered that using corn to make ethanol does cause the price of corn to increase. I have been led to beleive that supply and demand have an effect on price. He said nothing about the $0.51 per gallon subsidy, paid by the taxpayers, that the blender is paid. As an example an acre of corn yielding 155 bushels of corn being used to produce 2 1/2 gallons of ethanol per bushel would cost the taxpayers $197.62. For the farmer growing 1000 acres of corn it would be far cheaper to give him $100000 and a rocking chair to sit in and grow weeds on the 1000 acres. The weeds would take in CO2 and emit O2 and placate the greenies.
I would love to catch this fellow in his local coffee shop and discuss ethanol with him.
***RESPONSE FROM LEON CORZINE:
THE 30% GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REDUCTION ESTIMATE ALREADY TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE ENERGY DENSITY OF ETHANOL VERSUS GASOLINE. MORE RECENT PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH FROM THE U. OF NEBRASKA SUGGESTS CORN ETHANOL REDUCES GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY NEARLY 50% COMPARED TO GASOLINE.
THE BLENDERS CREDIT HAS BEEN REDUCED 12% TO 45 CENTS AND AS YOU STATED, THE TAX CREDIT IS PAID TO BLENDERS, NOT ETHANOL PRODUCERS OR CORN FARMERS. THIS IS NECESSARY BECAUSE THE ETANOL INDUSTRY IS DEPENDENT UPON ITS BIGGEST COMPETITOR (OIL COMPANIES) FOR ENTRY INTO THE MARKETPLACE. THERE HAS TO BE AN INCENTIVE TO MAKE OIL COMPANIES REPLACE THEIR OWN PRODUCT. THE TAX CREDIT IS ALSO NECESSARY BECAUSE OIL IS HIGHLY SUBSIDIZED THROUGH A VARIETY OF FAVORABLE TAX PROGRAMS, LOAN PROGRAMS, ETC. I NOTICED JIM IS FROM STOCKTON, CA. WHILE SOME DISTANCE FROM LOS ANGELES, HAVE YOU NOTICED THE SMOG REPORTS THAT ARE ABSENT SINCE USING ETHANOL? YOU ALSO DO NOT HAVE THE GROUNDWATER, LAKE, AND WELL CONTAMINATION SINCE ETHANOL REPLACED MTBE.
I feel I must comment on the gentleman who spoke in favor of ethanol on your April 25th program. First , farmers are not the majority of the people in the United States, but farmers are subsidized by the majority of the people. To arrogantly stand in front of the camera and poor mouth the producers of corn. Oh the poor (rich) farmers are being hurt by the oil company's and the food distributors . When the truth about ethanol is that it is the worst thing to come down the pike for internal combustion engines since rust. It gums up the engines of fleet trucks (documented many times). It gums up carborators of outboard motors.(personal experience) motor bikes and other RV equipment. The Ethanol lobby has forced a law on the public that all gas must include ethanol, so we the public are forced to use it even if we know how bad it is. But the real immorality of ethanol is the fact that we trade food for fuel. And people starve (yes they do) and the rest of us pay more for the food we need so the ethanol industry will will prosper. I place ethanol producers in the same category as immoral Wall Street brokers and bankers. The biggest mistake the farmers can make is to align themselves with the ethanol lobby. Because I am not the only person who holds the ethanol lobby in such contempt. Farm Report can(and often does) do better than this. I remain a steady viewer of your program.
*RESPONSE FROM LEON CORZINE:
I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT EITHER POOR OR RICH FARMERS; WE ARE ALL OVER THE SPECTRUM JUST LIKE ANY OTHER SECTOR OR BUSINESS CATEGORY.
LOOK AT TODAY’S CORN PRICE! NEARBY FUTURES PRICES ARE IN THE $3.75/BU. RANGE AND CASH PRICES ARE MUCH LOWER IN MOST MARKETS. THESE PRICES ARE NOT HISTORICALLY ABNORMAL, DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE WILL PRODUCE RECORD AMOUNTS OF ETHANOL THIS YEAR. LAST YEAR’S PRICE SPIKE WAS LARGELY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SURGE IN ENERGY PRICES, RECORD GLOBAL DEMAND FOR CEREAL CROPS, AND PRICE SPECULATION RESULTING FROM MIDWEST FLOODING CONCERNS. WHILE IT IS LIKELY THAT THE INCREASED USE OF CORN FOR ETHANOL HAS HAD SOME IMPACT ON THE PRICE OF CORN, MOST ECONOMISTS AGREE THE EFFECT DUE TO ETHANOL IS PROBABLY IN THE RANGE OF 20 TO 40 CENTS PER BUSHEL.
THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE JUST RELEASED A REPORT SAYING ETHANOL ATTRIBUTED LESS THAN 1% OF THE FOOD INCREASE. BY THE WAY CORN PRICES ARE ½ WHAT THEY WERE AND I HAVE NOT SEEN GROCERY PRICES REDUCED.
IT IS UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE DO STARVE AND THEY ARE TODAY. CORN EXPORTS WERE SETTING RECORDS LAST YEAR WHEN THE PRICES WERE HIGH. CORN PRICES ARE NOT THE ISSUE AND WE DO NOT TRADE FOOD FOR FUEL.
HENRY FORD MADE HIS CARS TO RUN ON ETHANOL. BRAZIL RUNS ON 20% TO 97% ETHANOL. ETHANOL IS AN OCTANE BOOSTER AND ENHANCES PERFORMANCE. IT ALSO CLEANS OUT FUEL SYSTEMS. IF THERE ARE ENOUGH IMPURITIES FROM GASOLINE IN YOUR TANK ETHANOL WILL CLEAN IT AND MAY CAUSE A NEED TO CHANGE YOUR FUEL FILTER.
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