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08-05-2015 10:55 AM - edited 08-05-2015 11:28 AM
It is the second year I'm invited for the Congress of the No-Tillage Farmers Association of Argentina. They always bring a lot of interesting guests to Rosario. One of the quotes I thought it might be controversial or perhaps interesting for you is that Howard Buffet, the son of billionarie Warren Buffet, philantropist and Illinois farmer, said that U.S. farmer cannot think on a long-term propostion and should learn from Argentina's farmers. Buffet cited the fact that 99% of Argentinean farmer grow with no-till and in the U.S. it is very hard to convince farmers to do that. He says that the behavior of most U.S. farmers will cause serious problems.
"When you see the consequence of that behavior around the world, you start to get worry. It is possible to grow organic and no'til with the same yields. The big issue is that farmers think they know everything. But they don't know. In a lifetime, a farmer grows about 40 different crops and puts the son at the combine. Then, all things change. In the U.S., nobody gets the fact that agriculture has to work and think with a system. This is what they have to learn from Argentines," Buffet stated.
The philatropist also said that it is an illusion to think that some country might be able to feed the world. "It is a myth that Brazil, U.S. or Argentina farmers can feed the world. Most of the corn consumed in places of Africa or Asia should be produced locally, not from the outside".
Buffet predicted that excesses of production or shortages of production are likely to continue, but he thinks that climate change is the greatest threat. "We can discuss why is this happening, but something is changing in climate for sure. Ask any farmer and nobody knows what the average crop is. You see lack lack of water in southern California and Atlanta. This is very dangerous," affirmed the farmer, defending no-till, cover crops, good nutrients, efficient use of water and land as best solutions for farming around the world.
What do you think of all of these statements?
08-05-2015 11:50 AM
Currency devaluation has influenced inflation in both countries. But the Index of Inflation Cost to rural producers calculated by the Federation of Agriculture and Livestock in Brazil says that in average the inflation was 8.44% in 2014 and the estimate for 2015 is 11.33%
08-05-2015 08:25 PM
My $02, he is simply speaking to the crowd.
1. Hard to convince US farmers to go no-till? SAY WHAT? I and many neighbors have been doing it since the late 1980's. Also, and I may be wrong, but land in the US may be much more variable in its soil properties so what works in one area may not work in another.
2. Excesses and shortages of production will continue. No duh. Of course weather variability, disease, insects and an abundance of other factors will induce variability. Always has, always will.
3. Something is changing in climate? Wow, that's inciteful. Climate always changes, always has changed and always will. He should read books like "Worst of Hard Times" about the 1930's and the depression. Would make California's drought look rather minuscule in comparison. Albeit, if it continues there is no reason to believe it could reach that level. What has happened can clearly happen again.
In retrospect, there are hundreds if not thousands of farmers in the US that could give a more informative and inciteful speech about agriculture. They just don't have the name recognition to get invited.
08-05-2015 08:35 PM
08-06-2015 06:15 AM
OH MY MR Buffet jr. I cannot believe this guy has any credibility. I can remember my Dad No-tilling in the 80's. We notilled all our beans this year. IT wasn't a new practice we neeeded to learn it is one we feel we are veterans at and can hold our own with the best out there.
Mister buffet has no credibility in my book. The guy is always saying in some offhanded way that America is inferior, uncompasionate, unfair, and coldhearted. A couple years ago he had an advertisement in another farm magazine all about the virtues of large dairy farms hiring foriegn workers and how it made thier lives better. Never mind that the farms made McDonalds look like a wage panacea! Nope I will rail against This man's agenda every chance I get.
Sorry I see no value in his comments or his Silver spoon farming ideas.
08-06-2015 08:51 AM
08-06-2015 09:11 AM
I'd sooner solicit the learned advice of the Indiana University football coaching staff on how to win the next Super Bowl than try to ever emulate almost anything coming out of a 3rd world economic basket case like Argentina.
As for the global warming opinions of Mr. Howard Buffett; he and his two siblings are each soon-to-be $3 billion trust fund babies. There is a world of difference between taking the advice of Big Cat Daddy Warren who actually made his billions and an idealistic son who just happened by random birth to win one of life's biggest powerball lotteries.
Caveat emptor folks. And for good measure, ponder the concept of "Deo Confidimus with everyone else being required to furnish their data and their sources."