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TheDancingMan  
#11 Posted : Monday, May 1, 2017 8:22:38 PM(UTC)
TheDancingMan
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West Branch wrote:
Even more distressing is that overproduction of agricultural commodities has become a serious economic problem in the Upper Midwest. Squandering resources to flood the market with cheap ag products ultimately ends up as a lose/lose proposition for farmers and the environment. Our culture has so little regard for food that, according to figures I've heard recently, as much as 40% of it ends up in the trash.

At the risk of starting an unpleasant political discussion, government regulation isn't as bad as its reputation. Iowa courts recently ruled that farmers are free to dump as much nitrate into waterways as they want to. General reaction from many Iowans has been, "There oughta be a law!" Well , yeah--there oughta be. In the interest of vague ideas like "Liberty," citizens continue to vote for politicians who insist that we don't need any experts telling us what to do. When will the supposedly educated populace understand that there are people and corporations that don't care if they hurt us as long as profit is involved?

I could go on and on, but I'll stop before I get banned from this forum.



Amen!!
William Schlafer  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 6:55:15 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Here's an example of one mega farm operation this is at least trying to do the right thing: Crave Brothers Farms near Waterloo.

I have no idea what their water usage is, and I'm sure it's substantial. But what's noteworthy is that use their cattle manure to produce more energy than they consume, instead of just pumping onto their fields to run off into the watershed. They also appear to be ethical in how they run their operation and the impact it has on the land. And they produce high quality products.

The small family farm is close to extinction. There's almost no way to make a living on "40 acres and 40 head" like our grandfathers did. Large farming operations now make up the bulk of food production in the USA - a fact we will all have to live with. As the Crave Brothers have shown, it doesn't have to be disastrous to the environment.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
s.t.fanatic  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 7:08:35 AM(UTC)
s.t.fanatic
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William Schlafer wrote:
Here's an example of one mega farm operation this is at least trying to do the right thing: Crave Brothers Farms near Waterloo.

I have no idea what their water usage is, and I'm sure it's substantial. But what's noteworthy is that use their cattle manure to produce more energy than they consume, instead of just pumping onto their fields to run off into the watershed. They also appear to be ethical in how they run their operation and the impact it has on the land. And they produce high quality products.

The small family farm is close to extinction. There's almost no way to make a living on "40 acres and 40 head" like our grandfathers did. Large farming operations now make up the bulk of food production in the USA - a fact we will all have to live with. As the Crave Brothers have shown, it doesn't have to be disastrous to the environment.


-Bill


One person can easily run a 40 cow dairy by themselves. They just cant pay their bills.

I'm not pro big ag by any means but I think most people have an unrealistic view on what they consider a small family farm.
s.t.fanatic  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 7:26:23 AM(UTC)
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I've been told that the ag waste is actually better fertilizer after the methane has been removed from it. I have no idea if that is true just what I was told. There was a farm near Lewiston MN. that was looking into doing the same thing they just couldn't afford to do it. The problem is that most farmers have spent a fortune on manure storage and handling equipment. If the system that was mentioned in the article could be retro fit to existing manure storage ponds and they wouldn't need to buy new equipment to spread the manure I can see a good place for it. If not I don't see many of these systems being installed unless their current set up is out of date and not up to code.
William Schlafer  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 2:21:32 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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And we spin ever faster down the rabbit hole: Senete Approves Bill Giving Lawmakers Veto Power Over Regulations


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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