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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

Remember this two word announcement?

"Peak Corn"!    by MissouTiger

I thought he was right then and is still right wherever he is these days.

I see signs of it all around.

USDA has missed the production numbers again... they will be the last to stop holding onto the Monsanto promise of "trend" production based on technology.  (This is where I gotta be careful- don't want to end up sitting by the anti tech crazies)

give it a thought.... What tech improvement is better than GPS??   And that was 40+ years ago.  

There have been a couple of steps backwards in seed tech areas?  It was perfect, sort of.  Roundup rotated with Liberty and no tech seeds in a three year rotation or a rotation with another crop was a planners "cats meow".  Then progress screwed that up and now the volunteer corn is just about bulletproof.  So a dry year brings out the sweep plows(a 40 year step backwards) and in the process of our "save species/ignorance" dance...... weeds are now nearly bulletproof as well.  a pause for mental health.........................

The fragile planet is the biggest hoax al gore could produce...... so naturally he is just the carrier of the disease not the origin of the breeding.  (Wuhan will not find anything that will infest humanity as well as global warming/extinction fear mongering, the most successful cyber attack in my lifetime.)

Seed signs..... 

From an area that was "owned" by Pioneer seeds for decades (since the inbreeding of 3162 began setting yield records-1960's)  I drive around and see a different seed company sign everywhere...... some southern relative of a Monsanto product(twice bred and once removed).  I ask the young guys and they don't comment much.  The yields good when things are good.  But no one can show me their ten year history with this breed and what it compares too.......... seems individual test plots are a thing of the past.  Now it's acres per hour and applying less fertilizer more times.  And maybe more time with the kids. 😋

Water resources is the next thing....... can we continue to increase production and still keep the turbines humming?  Have we tapped all the water retention steroids we can find in our massive hemorrhage to make all things electrical?  Is there another Brazil out there we can exploit?  Maybe Greenland which has a water supply?  Will we let china have the rest of South America to increase production?   I think the US is done.  We have built these massive urban rest homes for those who won't work.... how will we feed them with these urban camps of multi millions claiming all the water resources for their use and pleasure?

Land..... in the US?  Where can new production expand?  The deserts seem over exploited.  Corn belt expansion?  Ground water reserves?  Seems done to me.  But I'm on the done end of the road.  A kid who can set a sweep plow and know when to keep going or when to stop...... amazes me.  I thought we lost that totally.

Wheat seems to have enough life to reclaim acres given away to the more "ehtanolable" grains, if it decides too.  

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Can you support the idea that crop production will continue to grow in the US?

 

 

18 Replies
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

I recall standing the Wall Drug parking lot, to the east there was "150 bushel corn" and to the west was the Badlands, that really brought home what agronomists were saying about  "new definition of soil is something to hold a plant up".   There are asterisks on the new meaning like is it economical production to irrigate and spoon feed plants on soils with poor nutrient holding ability?    Kind of like oil, there`s a glut of $120 oil and a scarcity of $50 oil. 

 Probably 15 years ago the Hefty boys told about new seed corn coming out that would produce on much less water than previous hybrids.  They warned ice cream soil, mid-westerners about the "cornbelt expanding"  and "be careful on what you pay for land" (because of increased production) 😂   ah yeah.   And I remember the Dakotas thought of as wheat & cattle country, now with new seed breeding North Dakota can compete with Illinois bean yields (if Ill. has a mediocre crop   and the stars line up for ND.).  

One thing about it is, if our masters wean us off meat, there you go half or more livestock feed demand removed and if we`re all on bicycles there goes ethanol.   There`ll be grasshopper farms and almond dairy farms  🙂 

BADeere_0-1659886491592.png

 

0 Kudos
rsbs
Senior Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

SW, flashback 20 years when the roundup and liberty genes were being inserted....I was trying to sell seed back then, and was at a seminar on what was coming, with gene stacking.

I was the sole one in the room questioning what special type of idiot was going to put both Roundup AND Liberty in the plants.

This might have been a place for government to have intervened and said...Roundup is for beans, and Liberty is for Corn, and no stacking!!!!

I grow conventional corn and have a hard time spraying it out where it cross pollinates with the neighbors stacked corn fields.

0 Kudos
erikjohnson61y
Senior Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

I must be one of those special kinds of idiots because I plant Enlist beans, Roundup AND Liberty AND Enlist!  Still, I think that's a hell of a lit better than Extend beans where the dicamba *might* be able to be drift controlled but no way is volatility controlled.  I (respectfully) told all my neighbors that if they sprayed Extend and I saw any cupping on my beans, their liability insurance company would be getting a claim.  Then of course I hired the elevator to spray my 3 Pre's, and the special kind of idiot running the machine didn't flush the booms out first and killed about 2 acres of my beans!!  UGH!!!!!  Elevator gave me a bill credit of 2 acres times my APH times $14 beans.

sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

rsbs

you would never get a decision like that out of the usda food chain...... they look for opportunities to pit one special interest against another.... We lost private ownership of plant gene material  when government got involved making plant genome modification a patentable process and the rest of what we own will slide down hill to DC in short order.

How many new gene traits have been registered and none have been worth anything to producers or consumers.  All the while the regulators sit on their hands and wait for each decision in administrative politics.

We lost everything when usda and congress allowed commercials to write the legislation and regulations.  The international ag trade and producers have no one to turn to help on any issue.  I'll never forget how usda came down on a farm in Colorado for a listeria outbreak in melons that was caused by 2011 heat wave... inspectors missed the mold and usda targeted a family farm to save the inspection embarrassment.

Production agriculture has lost almost all representation in Congress and departments that regulate agriculture lost any care for producers decades ago.  I was sitting in a meeting in a mid 1980's Florida of Usda's annual get together in the days of CRP promotion as a usda program.  The federal employee sitting with my group was explaining how important it was for the usda to have this grass program.  He quickly explained to me that the endangered species act written some 12 to 15 years earlier was written for all species(plant and animal).  Soon each farmer in a county would need a research assistant at the county level to help him preserve the natural habitat of wild weed species native to out location......be able to explain his procedure to produce his chosen crop and not disturb the native plant production which are needed to feed the native animal and insect populations.  Our congressmen were sleeping through some of the most destructive legislation that laid the footprints for the future environmental laws and soon to be the "soylent green new deal".

That meeting was followed by the city of Chicago wanting to ship sewage to the high plains area for fertilizer by the train load.  He was convinced that testing of the material would not be necessary.  A fellow from sw ks said nothing would enter his county without at least a nutrient and a heavy metals test to every vessel it was stored in.  He was criticized for making the process litigious.  But it was clear to me that the federal employees were only concerned with their own job preservation by attaching to anything that looked like it had well funded long legs and authority.  And the environmental movement was in everyones lingo.  With EPA they had the authority with the proper wording.

My 15+ years on soil and Fsa boards  did not impress me with anyone above the local office employees.

0 Kudos
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

Erik,

We live on the north side of cotton country.  I have experimented with beans for a long time.  Drift on beans was common and showed direction and improved inward from the edge.   We have always had to watch 24d and banvel drift and I felt the same way until our agronomists in sw ks decided that we had to use dicamba to kill kochia.  20 to 30 oz per acre in February when the kochia emerged......  Suddenly every soybean plant in the region planted in May or June had cupped leaves nearly from emerging to reproduction, because March follows February and the drift became universal.

like clockwork the chemical companies declared an emergency and chemically modified beans were in process........ I still think the whole thing was orchestrated and the agronomists were used as pawns.

0 Kudos
Blacksandfarmer
Senior Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

Good post SW. I really believe we as farmers have gotten away from the basics and just become growers for the big seed and chemical companies. It's like that because nobody (farmers) wants to be the one who rejects new technology and gets left in the dust. Funny thing, on the other side of things, none of these seed and chemical companies want the risk associated with farming. 

Years ago during "peak corn" I was in my early 30s, I wanted to expand and grow my couple hundred acres (some owned, some rented) into maybe 1,000. I spent lots of money on inputs, I sold seed, I tried staying ahead in ag  technology, but after a while I realized I wasn't going anywhere, and the only ones making money were the seed and chemical companies. When I lost a big chunk of my rented and custom harvest acres I decided to sell my  farm. 

Fast forward 4 years, I farm 33 acres of rented ground with a little 1986 2550 JD loader tractor, a rusty 10 ft disc and IH Soybean Special grain drill. I don't have my soybean seed treated with anything, I don't buy commercial fertilizer except nitrogen, I just use manure. I don't buy crop insurance because I finance myself..... I now net almost as much on 33 acres as I did on a couple hundred acres because I'm not spending as much on equipment, fertilizer, seed treatment, and crop insurance. 

I think peak corn also brought about peak ag technology.... or the race to it... For me it was a race to the bottom. 

Right now, at least "here" it's peak land. The government is spending big money on subsidizing solar companies. Young farmers can't compete in this inflated environment. As much as I would like to think a first generation farmer could make it, I am starting to believe that they can't. It reminds me of a quote from the old rancher in the film "Ocean of Grass" where he talks about how things can never be replicated. One can't just start out from nothing and make a large ranch work. The days of acquiring large tracts of land are over unless you are Bill Gates or the U.S government.... Peak Land!

k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

On  topic  of  the  Gov.  buying  land , are  you  speaking  of  the  C F A P  payments  - ?

Happy  Trails  &  have  a  SAFE  TRIP  -     Blackland

0 Kudos
erikjohnson61y
Senior Advisor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

BlackSand - much as I hate to admit it, I think you are right. Starting out farming by yourself is really hard now. I myself am a cheater. My grandfather grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, but came into the twin cities looking for work after high school because he was a younger son and knew he would not be getting the farm. He sent my dad to UofM to be an engineer, and never worked on a farm his whole life. He sent me off to college, and I worked in Houston, where I met my wife. When our two sons were 6 and 4, we decided that Houston was no place to raise kids, and her grandfather was moving off his farm to assisted living, so, we bought it and I became Oliver Wendell Douglas. But in 1996 land here was appraised at $900/acre. The company I was working for in Houston kept me on part time working remotely, which was a blessing. I made a deal with the neighbor who had been renting the farm that he could keep farming it for a number of years, but I would  "help" him, and I got to ask unlimited stupid questions. I think he did it for the laughs, watching a greenhorn learn. I was able to acquire a lot of old beat up machinery cheap, and learned how to fix it. I went to a lot of Hefty seminars, and learned to read soil tests, get rid of compaction, make variable rate prescriptions, and even bought a small tile plow and tiled my ground and did custom tile work for a number of neighbors. 

But even now, when I have paid for equipment and think I know what I'm doing, I cannot pencil out how to make $6000/acre ground pay now. I make a decent living, but I never expanded past the original half-section of my wife's grandfather, plus a couple rented quarters. But maybe that's partly due to the fact that neither of my sons are going to farm, so I have about a 15 year horizon, not a generational horizon. 

dwillinois
Senior Contributor

Re: Review -- years before his time..... and it is his time

Some good posts here. 

The land shift from the ones who have had many years and even a few generations of blood sweat and tears to the selling by the absentee heirs who see big dollars and will simply take the check and pay the tax is playing itself out every time we see these spikes in prices. 

Land is consistently going anywhere from 15k to around 20k in our area some farmers are buying and will likely retire in a few years and will either repeat the cycle or the investor group is coming in and scooping things up. 

Not a lot of new blood coming up in the area and is very sad, i'm sure it has happened in every cycle prior but each time it leaves fewer and fewer in the area and in environments like this its highly competitive for a young farmer to compete in or even be considered when the bto comes in and says name your price for rent.

Peak tech will come with the autonomous equipment which I think Deere is already getting one out next year. It's a lot easier to control the food supply with a few growers than a lot of farmers.