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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Viewers Speak: Ethanol, Hemp & Winter Wheat
Mar 14, 2011
***Editor's Note: The following comments were received following the March 12-13, 2011 edition of U.S. Farm Report...
#1: Would it not make sense to be growing hemp instead of corn for ethanol? Cheap, grows anywhere, grows fast it would make a new crop for farmers and gets out of the food chain for production of the gas additive. This country used to use hemp in a big way, it should come back for all the products it makes. Could save our economy once again...
Mickey de Rham - Sugar Hill, NH
#2: Mr. Phipps, I think we are at a cross roads to have an open and frank discussion over the use of corn to make ethanol. As the markets deal with prices, yields, acreages, weather and the "black swan, people wonder if there will be enough to feed the world. Why are we engaged in this insanity of turning 1/3 of our food crop into fuel?
In my view the time has come to admit we have made a mistake. I do not have a vested interest other than to do what is right. We don't we go back to recovering the natural resources of oil, gas and coal in a responsible manner and let the US farmers feed the world?
#3: Having been a farmer I know what happens when you mud in corn and get hot dry weather or don't get enough heat. I know it is nice to get high prices because of the destruction of food on the altar of ethanol. I also know that you must know that once you count all the fossil fuel energy consumed mining the potash, making the anhydrous ammonia, growing the seed, manufacturing the herbicide, planting the corn, spraying the corn, harvesting the corn, drying the corn, and distilling the corn into ethanol that you consumed more fuel than you made.
Studies I have seen calculate it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to get one calorie of grain energy. How do you sleep at night knowing policies you have pushed have resulted in millions of defenseless people going to bed hungry? John what will say when He tells you He was hungry and you did not feed Him?
#4: John - Not sure this will reach the air because of a couple of your heavy sponsors. Several weeks ago you made the statement that even the Organic Community was starting to accept GMO crops. I have been involved with Organics for several years now and have never heard of anyone being in favor of GMO anything. After contacting Ken Rosborough with the Non GMO Report, I found the answer. A book written by two people at University of California-Davis. For this one book I can put up 10 more that give compelling reasons why it should not be accepted. I am attaching an article that brings up several very solid reasons we should not be allowing GMO crops. Please notice the Pipe Dream, Eliminate Consumer Choice and end of the article. This is how the Organic Community really feels about GMOs as well as the American Consumer. As Americans our freedom of choice is being taken away in small ways, but will bring us to the point of having no choices if companies like Monsanto have their way. Once again - the only thing that is evident. Monsanto's money goes a long way. Does the name Starlink ring a bell? Anyone wanting to read more: www.non-gmoreport.com article May 10.
Linda K. Grant - Kewanee, IL
#5: Can you tell me if the US winter wheat crop is ok? Have not heard. This may make a big difference in wheat prices. Thanks for the info in advance...Janei Brockhausen
***Editor's Note: We will take an in-depth look at the status of the U.S. winter wheat crop this coming weekend (March 19-20, 2011) on U.S. Farm Report...