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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Dec 20, 2010



    I am a 73 year old rancher (ZZORanch in CO) and watch your farm report every Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. on Channel 5.   Overall, I give you high marks.  However, I have 2 negative comments this week.  First, I thought that you should have mentioned the negatives on ethanol which we taxpayers support at 45 cents per gallon - such as the large amounts of water to process, the cost of inputs to groceries, lower gas mileage out of ethanol, etc.   It is becoming the general public opinion that this is another government program that is failing.  Second, you showed Obama and his wife bragging about the new school lunch program.  This is an unfunded government mandate that will force a cost of 25 cents per meal on the local school districts and they will only receive support of 6 cents per meal - if lucky.  We in the West see this as just another example  of federal government over reach by this far left Obama administration.  School menus should be controlled at the LOCAL level period. 


Old Bob "The Cheerful Malcontent"    


   I rotate soybeans and wheat on my farm. Over the last 8-10 years I have only no-tilled both crops. No-tilling wheat into soybeans has never been a problem. No-tilling soybeans into wheat stubble has caused other farmers lots of problems. As a result, I have been burning my wheat stubble and have not had any problems no-tilling soybeans in the spring.
   Now I would like to stop burning wheat stubble and still successfully no-till soybeans. My thought in doing this is to remove the straw chopper and cut the wheat as short as possible, like soybeans, and bale all the straw. I am thinking the remaining stubble should be short enough to no-till soybeans with out any problems??? What do you think or have you other suggestions? I am using a late-model JD 750, 16 foot no-till drill!
   I have seen farmers in my area after wheat harvest go into the stubble with a stalk-chopper / flail machine and then no-till soys. Rather than invest in a chopper, I thought the combine could provide the same or similar results???
Would appreciate any and all comments!

Don Bishop

New Lothrop, Michigan 


Dear Sirs,

    We have been watching the US Farm Report for the past decade every Saturday am for approximately 10 years. We are forage farmers in Indiana and produce an estimated 8-10,000 square bales, and approximately 200-300 round bales per year dependent upon the weather and field yields. This kind of farming is such a different kind of effort than the grain farmer as you know. We would like to know how to have an evaluation from the story you did on Farm Quest to evaluate our business. It is a hard job and physically demanding, but we love it. Our family works together to bring in the hay on "hay days", and we have mechanized as much of the process of making "hay" with hay bines, tedders, large rakes, accumulator, and bale grabs. My husband would start his hay season late in May and go up to the mid part of September. He is now full time retired from our local community college where he taught Construction Technology. 


   In anticipation for our up coming hay season, and under the confines of our current economic conditions, would there be any advice for our chosen aspect of "farming" that so many livestock and horse owners depend upon throughout the year? We also raise Corriente Cattle for our family sport of team roping and have a horse boarding business of 22 horses. We do love our life here on our farm and do appreciate your weekly reports. We were wondering if you ever talk about the forage farmer and his unique problems and efforts? Is there a national organization that is dedicated to the production of forage products? We would love to hear about the other farmers in America who do this necessary work and their efforts to making their farms the best they can be.


Thank you,
Jim and Pattiann Shearer
Roanoke, Indiana



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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Dairy Farmer
Another problem with ethanol is that it eats the fuel pumps. A local carpenter has had 4 fuel pumps on 1 truck quit in 1 year. This is an added expense to ethanol.
4:23 PM Dec 21st


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