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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Oct 04, 2010
***The following comments were received following the October 2-3, 2010 edition of the program...
I enjoy your program and tape it every week. Al, the market portion of the show is super; I would suggest a third segment for livestock producers who use corn and meal. What do your experts suggest for us with regard to pricing our inputs...corn, meal, DDGS, by-products, fat....etc.
John, your commentaries are interesting and thought provoking. I would suggest you spend as much time as possible helping livestock farmers fight off the mounting criticism of large farms. We are your customers......supporting us is just good business. And except for a vey few poor managers, who seem to get all the press, the industry as a whole does a terrific job of producing low cost and safe foods for our country and the world. Maybe one of your next commentaries could explore what would happen if all the anti CAFO organizations got their way and put us out of business. Do we really want and can we really afford to depend on local food/farmer markets for our food. I think its great for those producers to supplement our food supply. But do we want to force our food production out of the country and rely on others to produce our protein?. To me, not being in control of our food supply is a national security issue..
Another thought, as long as I am writing:
If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well......
If you aren't going to do it right, don't do it at all....
Al and John, I am sure you get my drift.....If the Gov. can't report grain supplies correctly, we would be better off if they didn't do the job at all. I would rather just depend on INFORMA and other private groups for the information. At least they are constistant. I use over a million bu. of corn each year and about 125 tons of meal per week. When the gov. tells us we are going to be short of my primary feed ingredient, I plan ahead and make purchases accordingly. Most at much higher prices than I felt comfortable buying. Now the gov't finds over 300 million bu of corn and the market drops ..... Except for the specs, we would have been better off with private forecasters. On this weeks show, I think it was Brian, it was suggested we may get this corrected in Dec. Oh great, we have to switch gears again! How can we do any planning with this scenario?. Farmers and ranchers have enough variables in our life. Every day is more of a gamble. What a challenging way of life! Except for the Gov't contributions.....I love it.
I appreciated the class you showed by actually reading and responding to the rude person who started his email by calling you a moron! I enjoy watching the U.S. Farm Report when I get up early enough to watch it on Saturday mornings. Although I am not a farmer, I have friends who are farmers. I live in Green Bay, Wisconsin and am surrounded by many small farms in what have always traditionally been Belgian settlements. This Belgian heritage is still alive and well with recent kermiss festivals, with kermiss being the Belgian word for harvest. There are other festivals during the summer when traditional Belgian foods like trippe, pie, and booyah are served, and the rural parishes occasionally have outdoor polka masses with tubas! Actually now that I think about it, I guess the polka masses mainly reflect the heritage of the Polish and Czechs but some of the parishes in Belgian country have adopted the polka masses nonetheless! For the record, one of my Belgian farmer friends has from time to time called me a moron, but it's all in good fun and not meant as an insult as was the case with your rude emailer! Sorry I forgot the host's name (which is why I addressed this as "Dear sirs"), but seeing as how I have a bad memory and I only see your show once a week when I'm half asleep, that's not too surprising!
***Editor's Note: Below is a transcript of the Mailbag segment referred to in Gordon's email...
TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG....
DON M HAS SOME ADVICE FOR MY COMMENTARIES:
"MORON.............THE EARTH "HAS" BEEN HIT BY GIANT ASTEROIDS MANY TIMES. CHECK UR FACTS B4 U OPEN UR BIG MOUTH AGAIN!!!"
THE STATEMENT TO WHICH HE REFERS WAS AT THE CLOSE OF MY ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN AG-BIOTERRORIST THREAT FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS "THE THREAT YOU DESCRIBE MAY BE POSSIBLE, BUT I RANK IT WITH THE EARTH GETTING HIT BY AN ASTEROID." YOU ARE CORRECT, DON. THE EARTH HAS BEEN HIT BY LARGE ASTEROIDS BEFORE, AND BECAUSE OF THE GEOLOGIC RECORDS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ASSESS WITH REASONABLE ACCURACY WHAT THAT RISK IS.
LARGE ASTEROIDS WHICH CAN CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE ARE ANY OVER 1 KILOMETER IN DIAMETER, AND THEY HIT ABOUT ONCE EVERY MILLION YEARS. SO CALLED "DINOSAUR KILLER" ASTEROIDS OCCUR IN INTERVALS OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS. I WAS REFERRING TO LARGE ASTEROIDS SINCE SMALLER STUFF IS NORMALLY LABELED METEORS. RISK ASSESSMENT IS BEST DONE BY COMPARISON. THE ODDS OF DEVISING A GENETIC SOYBEAN TIME BOMB AND DEPLOYING IT ACROSS THE FIELDS OF AMERICA IS IN THE ORDER OF MAGNITUDE OF AN ASTEROID IMPACT - SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE VERY FAR DOWN ON OUR WORRY LIST. NOT ZERO - BUT NOT MUCH.
IN FACT, SINCE THE LIFETIME ODDS OF DYING IN AN AIRPLANE CRASH ARE ROUGHLY ONE IN TEN THOUSAND AND I FLY WITHOUT UNDUE ANXIETY, I USE THAT NUMBER FOR REFERENCE. THE THREAT OF BIOTERRORIST BEANS OR ASTEROIDS IS VASTLY SMALLER.