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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

How profoundly reactionary* would one have to be to be against having a green, price stable source of N?

"But The Buggywhips, I tell you!!!!   You let THEM take away our buggywhips and they'll be coming for our guns next!!!"

And in the future that is going to happen no matter how hard you fight it, would make a much stronger case for a more or less seamless continuation of big time corporate/gubmint commodity agriculture.

*caveman grade

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Build back better

There isn`t any laws against going to Northern Hydraulics and Menards buying solar panels and manufacturing your own green nitrogen.   If you get good at it sell it cheaper than the Koch brothers and break them if you can (I`m not wild about Charles Koch funding PBS anyway).  But to use corn checkoff money to compete against a company that you have a few issues with, doing the Ju Jitsu of using farmer money to strangle a portion of their conservative speech.  

The problem is it isn`t efficient enough without a ton of subsidy.

snip:

Today, most solar panels provide an energy efficiency rating between 11 and 15 percent, which is the percentage of solar energy that is being converted into useable electricity. ... Because of their higher efficiency, these panels may be slightly more expensive, but they will still meet the energy requirements you need.  

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RJG640v8
Advisor

Re: Build back better

maybe you have time for such nonsense as light conspiracy to work with other posters on here to work and cultivate a  narrative ...... projection?? 

I don't.

Having ones dogma challenged is not a bad thing.  It really isn't. It helps to bring about progress and or better ways of doing things. If I was of a mind I could talk about my progression into creating my own markets , going out on a limb and purchasing a meat processing facility.... my dogma has been challenged much , some I heeded some I didn't...

 

Now, if this Shermans post was the only time I had seen it, or back in Oct when they got some of the Forum posters worked into a lather about it,  it would be one thing...

Yet, weekly this meme has legs and circulates around much of social media , other chat rooms and other ag websites. That is most definitely a premeditated ploy to sow discord, fear and division. Just so happens that it seems to work on ginning up righties.  I have had people that buy burger from me ask if I was going to be raising my prices, or are you getting out of the meat biz..... they saw this crud on FB, or Twitter, or IG, or or or......... and they believed it  🙄

 

I fight it each and every time.

 

 

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erikjohnson61y
Veteran Advisor

Re: Build back better

Way to go BA!  You yanked his chain and he barked right on cue.

SD - Why don't you put together a business plan? Find 80 acres somewhere you can buy and put up a solar farm and build your N plant. Get an option to buy it so you have a credible plan. Get a quote from First Solar or Sunfinity or someone to build the solar array. Use meteorological stats to size the array to generate the power needed for the N production you envision. Usually plants like that like to run 24/7, so you'll need to oversize your solar array and plan for battery backup. Tesla (Solar City) can give you a proposal on that. Then get a quote for construction of the ammonia plant, and make sure you've greased the skids with the local zoning board and highway department so you can get your building and operating permits.  You'll need a loading area and scales and storage for off-season production. Figure out the local area demand or access to distribution if you want to sell to more than farmers in a 20-mile radius.  Once you have all your numbers you'll have to arrange financing. You can get a good bank loan for 60-65% of the cost, and you can use private equity for the rest, maybe with a mezzanine loan in the middle. You'll have to structure it so the private equity investors have a shot at mid to upper teens returns if you want to sell out the offering. I can put you in touch with an outfit in Sioux Falls that raises private equity for investments like this. Make sure you can make money at $400/ton urea or you'll get crushed when the nasty non-green producers catch up with demand. Then, if the finances work and you can raise the capital, build the plant on time and on budget, and produce for a couple of years, then you can either sell to the big boys or expand and franchise the process out to the bigger coops across the midwest. You can get rich on the royalties and engineering consulting fees. You can be the Jeff Broin of Anhydrous!!  

Or are you all talk??

 

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

For BA first, I've gotta tell you that being not very bright isn't the worst thing. Measured human intelligence is a bell curve and it is just a fact of nature that somebody has to inhabit the left side.

But anyway, your primativist reactionary view- which seems to be largely a function of TV reruns from before you were born and RW provacateur hoohah- has some serious gaps.

Back in the day, the US nitrogen manufacturing and distribution system was largely farmer owned. It wasn't hugely profitable because it wasn't intended to be- the primary producers spun off enough patronage to feed down through the regionals and locals and it kept nitrogen margins pretty tight. A very well functioning model that quietly delivered year after year- what was essentially a public utility.

Of course the primary production assets got pried away from the cooperative system shortly before the Government Ag Boom (an accident? I don't know) and margins expanded sharply. Even in recent years with chronically low NG in the $2-3 range- nitrogen remained much more expensive than what could be delivered back in "the old days".

A $B would go a long way. That seems a lot but is actually only about half of what US farmers will get gouged just this year.

One actual real world caution: everywhere and always, if a new entrant challenges a price fixing oligololy, the oligopoly will immediately cut prices sharply- often running them out of business- buying them up cheap and then rinse, wash repeat. 

Any new entrant will need to be very well capitalized in order to withstand the onslaught (a price war in N is not necessarily a bad thing). And as before, half or more of the point is to provide competition and drive the oligopoly rent extraction out of the market- not to make huge profits, per se.

 

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

The primary economic conflict of the day is between rent extraction and actual productive economic activity.

The reigning neoliberal economic theories don't distinguish between the two.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Build back better

Well, yes like when a Walmart and Menards comes to town and undercuts the independent grocer and lumberyard.  Shortly after the going out of business sale, the box stores their raise prices and recoup earlier competition destroying prices.   But why does it have to be "green energy", an excuse to "harvest artificial value from the government"?  

There is also the regulation expense of manufacturing nitrogen "Oooo ground water!  Ground water!"  Just like hogs if a little guy has a 1200hd barn he has many of the same regulation as the Bigshot with 5,000hd maxi barns.  The Bigshot absorbs those expenses and the little guy quits from the extra hassle.  

But the green energy route couldn`t compete with the NG that actually gets burned off in the oil fields in some cases.  

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

I remain entirely confident that "agriculture" as well as the rest of "the economy" can do perfectly well and prosper through a period of steady transition to being greener.

Unfortunately, "agriculture" has been almost completely captured by the destuctive, extractive reactionary political forces.

Didn't have to be this way. A lot of the alarmists decided "it can't get any worse, so do something!"

Yes, it most definitely can.

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

You're not making any sense, BA.

But I'm sorry that your feelings are hurt.

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: Build back better

A typical BA two step would be

"GLOBALIZATION IS A PLOT"

to

"IT IS A GLOBAL MARKET, STUPID"

At any rate, if you own the N production and global conditions do happen to provide a windfall, you keep the dough.

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