Sep 23, 2014
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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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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: Algae, Input Costs & Subsidies

Aug 04, 2014

***Editor’s Note:  The following comments were received in response to the August 2-3, 2014 edition of U.S. Farm Report…

Viewer Comment #1:  In today's U.S. Farm Report Mr. Phipps rightfully pointed out that we all constantly need to learn new skills. But if these skills are just employed in the same direction we have been going for many decades now, they will they accelerate the downfall of even more farmers. Relentlessly driven by economic competition farming today is a high input game hunting the highest yield. Ironically in the same shows which feature serious brokers and farm journalists warning the farmers to be prepared for the consequences of their own endeavors and pointing out the vicious cycle of great harvests and depressed prices, farmers are still admonished to be early adopters of the latest technology, i.e. yield enhancing chemicals, machinery and growing methods…as if the narrow band of specialization of row crop farmers was leading anywhere but disastrous ruin for most in the long run. Only a few very large operations of that kind make it - not without help from the taxpayer, by the way. Who profits most? The providers of said chemicals, machinery and growing methods.  I do not need to point out who suffers most from that kind of agriculture which has been in the heads of most farmers.  On the other hand, there are a good number of examples of farmers who are breaking the mold, resorting to very different approaches to farming, but they are not featured. Most of them can be found in the organic and/or horse-farming community. As long as farmers let themselves be talked into the afore-mentioned rat race the attrition of their numbers can be safely assumed. How about forming organizations in which farmers for example discuss optimal yields for themselves and their communities, not maximum outcomes with their price-destabilizing consequences? How about organizations which help farmers to overcome the narrow specialization and give them tools for more diversified farming operations?  I could give more examples, but the idea should be clear: If we continue to be going in the directions we have been going for several decades now we should not be surprised that we will arrive there. Only a few people with deep pockets can even start independents farms, most will be hirelings and/or dependents of large corporations.  Respectfully, Klaus Karbaumer - Platte City, MO

Viewer Commment #2:  Is there a law prohibiting an American farmer from charging any price he chooses for his product and finding customers he wants to sell to?  Why are farmers subsidized when others that deal in commodities are not?  Thank you - Mitch Holland

 

Viewer Comment #3:  Recently I E-Mailed you regarding Algae Blooms. On Saturday August the citizens of Toledo and some of the surrounding suburbs woke up to DO NOT USE THE WATER. The report went on to report that the Algae Bloom had grown a toxic chemical the water could not be used for human or animal consumption Elderly and toddlers and younger should not be bathed or showed with the water. Algae Blooms have been attributed to nitrogen in the water. A prime source of this nitrogen is from fertilizer used on farms. This is why the America Farm Bureau has recommended the grass areas between any body of water and the cultivated fields. This has thrown the city of Toledo and the communities it supplies with water into one huge emergency. At this point I as a citizen of the city of Toledo have little love for the farmers who refuse to consider the well being of there fellow Americans. The algae blooms in Lake Erie cover most of the western end of Lake Erie.  Yours, James Brancheau

Viewer Comment #4:  I often make a point to watch your program on Sunday morning and find it to be very informative & enjoyable.  Your long-range weather forecast is often more accurate than others.  Out of curiosity, I have to ask a question. Your weather map is relatively to scale, however, why is Cuba shown to be such a large land mass? It's only 90 miles South of Florida, and the scale of that distance does not compare with that of the States or the East/West width of the USA.  I enjoy your show. Regards, W.J. Rote

 

Viewer Comment #5:  Hello friends, I am a long-time viewer - and learn so very much about farming and farms - even though I only garden.  Just to let you know about an amazing event held annually on the last weekend in July (Fri-Sat-Sun) in Hastings, Minnesota - The Pioneer Log House Village. As a disclaimer, I am not involved in the ownership/planning/coordinating of this event -- although I have had a vendor table there, in the past.  This event is truly unique -- the efforts made by the farm owners, to preserve buildings that would be lost forever - all in a spirit of fun and adventure -- is remarkable. The Bauer Family of Hastings, Minnesota, uses a portion of their farm, to operate this event.  Dozens of old and historic buildings, enough to create a western town, have been located/purchased/dismantled and reassembled on this site.  A spiral bridge (a much loved icon from old Hastings) has been recreated, as well.  There are buildings for vendors, demonstrations of weaving and crafts, old farm implements, hundreds of tools/engines and a tractor parade.  It would be great to have this event noted and showcased -- the gardens and grounds would still be ready for a program segment.  I am just one of 1000's of visitors -- and this event is worth knowing about.  Many thanks for all that you do and continued success.  Corinne L. Marz - Cottage Grove, MN

 

 

 

 

 

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