***The viewer comments below were received following the July 30-31, 2011 edition of U.S. Farm Report...
#1: I really enjoy US Farm Report even though I am not a farmer. I was disappointed in your recent editorial about the Marcellus Shale. Not only did you not include West Virginia in the list of states but you dredged up the tired "fracking will ruin our water" argument. The EPA has never confirmed a case where fracking fluids or fracking itself has contaminated a water well. Fracking is usually done at the bottom of the well. In Marcellus Shale that is usually between 5000 and 6000 feet down. Most water is found at less than 500. In addition, the well casing is cemented in so the fracking fluid can't migrate into the water table. Are there accidents, yes but the industry is making every effort to be responsible with their drilling and fracking and respect the environment. Comments like yours only add to the hysteria and scare people unnecessarily. If your viewers want to be sure drilling isn't affecting their water well then they should test it BEFORE drilling starts.
#2: How great it is for Ag ! Record prices for grain and the sky seems to be the limit. It's all good news! I work for Deere and Company in Waterloo, Iowa. Man, are we selling tractors!! Man, are the profits great! I remember the 80's well when Deere in Waterloo went from 14,000 worker down to 3,000....from 200+ tractors a day down to 30. What a disaster for ag! Currently,while the rest of the US economy stagnates, ag does well. Can this go on indefinitely? Of course not.
Some differences between now and the 80's; In 1980 the federal deficit was 1 trillion$...now it's 14 trillion. In 1980, China was a backwater joke...now they are the #2 economy in the world, hold 1 1/4 trillion of US debt, take 1/2 our soybean crop, and pay for it all via a monster trade imbalance with the US. The US manufacturing base has been reduced by half since 1980. Ag needs to enjoy the current good times because uncertain times most assuredly will follow. Can the US do another 30 years like the last 30? Now that is laughable. Uncle Bob
#3: I watched your report on new regulations in reference to Tractor Trailers and new regulations on transporting goods over the road. My question is what happened to being "Grandfathered In"? Possibly it depends on who your Grandfather is! A politician or a farmer. Please keep up the good work and reporting.