***Editor's Note: The following viewer feedback was received in response to the April 17-18, 2010 edition of the program...
I've been watching your show for years. I am not a farmer but I have squirrel farmers in my back yard that do a great job of planting corn seed from my squirrel feeder..noticing the corn as it grows in my town yard.....does not look as good as the corn growing in our rural area outside the town where I live. Is this because of the fertilizer that is planted with the corn grows a more healthy crop or can corn grow without fertilizer? I remember the story of the indians who taught the pilgrims to plant their corn with fish to fertilize the corn for a more healthy corn crop.....like this question answered... love the show....Ron Thompson
Fire is a part of nature. The April 12, 2010 page 37 of C&EN has an article, "Smoke Signels". It tells about seeds that sprout and grow better after being exposed to smoke from a grass or forest fire. The compound that helps the seed may be developed to treat farm and garden seeds. The man who thought his cat helped the garden seeds may have had a cat with the effect of smoke.
Afternoon, folks. I wanted to comment on something that John mentioned in his "Tractor Tails" segment this morning (4/18/2010); this is something that he has done more than once. John quoted the purchase price "new" of the tractor (I think it was $800). Now, on the face of it I said "WOW" and I'm looking at buying a $4500 lawn mower that just cuts grass! I stopped to think (and I hope that many of your viewers do too) what is that in today's dollars and I wonder what the farmer who would spend $800 of his hard earned money made that year. Giving the inflation adjusted price (along with the "new" price) and maybe some sort of perspective cost would be of interest to your viewers and not diminish from the literary impact of the "new" price.
Here are three pictures of a combine fire. I don't know how recent the photos are.
From a rural perspective, the thing I notice is that there is no sign of a fire department. 911 may be convenient for city folks, but rural people need to be self-sufficient in case of fire or medical emergency. The primary reason rural people don't live as long as urban people is the absence of emergency medical care; usually the fire department EMT.
In an area served by a volunteer fire department, volunteers have to drop what they are doing, head to the fire station to don their turnouts, and then proceed to the fire. Many times, the emergency is resolved one way or another before help arrives.