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Breezy Hill Farm Update Nov 24, 2019

Posted 11/24/2019 7:30pm by Art Ozias.

            BREEZY HILL FARM WEEKLY UPDATE


  • I was able to get a processing date for the next ground beef harvest.  Due to the deer season, I was not able to get a date sooner than Jan 15.  Pickup will be Jan 25.  As usual, I don't know how many pounds will be available, so if you are on the list, your request will be filled based on when I received your request.
  • During the last ground beef pickup, someone mentioned they had bees.  I think it was someone nearby.   If that person would contact me I would appreciate it.
  • I learned this past week that Gilbert's had increased their prices for processing.  The next orders will pay about 90 cents per pound for processing.  That's up about a nickel.
  • We got our turkey this past Saturday from Virginia.  Also, got the goose.  I'm  sure this Thanksgiving meal with the turkey will be again just at great as last year.  Sure is nice to have someone locally raising chickens and turkeys.  I know it is difficult to compete with the cheap butterballs subsidized with your and my tax dollars and stores treating them as loss leaders with ridiculously low prices.   But, as I always say, "each dollar one spends is a vote, either for good or for bad".

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Doug Sedon' via A Green New Deal for Food & Farming  Doug's comments follow.

"There was a reason I specifically singled out ethanol - its deleterious effects are sickening, in all ways.  It adds to pollution, does nothing to reduce the use of oil & gas, increases food costs and shortages worldwide, and is financed by our tax dollars, going straight into big-ag's pockets.  There is no way ethanol fuel would be economically viable or competitive w/o our tax dollars funding it.

And, ironically enough, when the EPA does its cafe standards for fuel efficiency for cars & light trucks, pure gas is used, which gives an average of 3% better gas mileage than does 10% ethanol (e10) gas."

Francis Thicke commented. The problems of ethanol go beyond energy inefficiency: Calculations based on USDA soil erosion data indicate that for every gallon of ethanol made from corn, two gallons of soil are lost to erosion. Also, according to ISU data, for every acre of corn, about 30 lbs of nitrate leach into our water resources. 

Realize that it takes more petroleum to make ethanol than gasoline. Think about that !

 

 Just try to get rid of *ONE* subsidy - the one that pays farmers to grow corn for ethanol in gasoline.  FORTY PERCENT of all corn grown in the usa is used to feed CARS!?!

Here's another FORTY PERCENT; it was in the KC Star is past week.  FORTY PERCENT of ag income this past year was a result of government subsidies.

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Here is a very interesting email I recently received. It very succinctly encapsulates the present situation our present agriculture is facing.

"I started the transition to regenerative ag practices on my farm about 18 years ago.  I took hundreds of acres of prime irrigated farmland and planted it back into perennial pasture and started high stock density grazing.  And I started doing AMP (adaptive multi-paddock) grazing on our native rangeland as well. We have been doing the Haney test ( specific method for soil testing) for a number of years now and find it very helpful.  I recommend it to all the farmers that I mentor.

Regarding subsidies:  They can help initiate some helpful practices.  I've utilized CRP, CSP, EQUIP and other programs over the years and have benefitted from them.  But our current ag policies and subsidy programs have also had very detrimental impacts and created incentives in the wrong direction.  Many farmers have exploited the system to expand and rape the land. There are many examples of that right here in my own neighborhood and I frequently use those examples in my presentations.  I don't see that changing without a major overhaul of the farm bill and that is very unlikely to happen.

 

Since 1980 we have have lost 90% of our hog producers, 82 % of our dairy farmers and 41% of our beef producers.  Over 1 million U.S. family farmers have been driven off the land in this period.  I've seen this happen from a front row seat.  Our farm policies have played a big part in this migration.  Once we started moving the animals off the land, the people followed.  Then all we needed were bigger tractors and bigger planters and fewer farmers.  It became more important to have your neighbors land, than to have your neighbor.  The only way we reverse this migration of people and animals is using regenerative farming methods to bring the animals back onto the landscape.  This requires more labor.  That's a good thing!  This also helps rejuvenate rural communities, not just farms, and that's an important part of my advocacy work.  This is also an important message to convey to our policy makers.  Soil health is the foundation for all of this but the benefits are far reaching and our non agrarian counterparts need to know this!   

 

Lastly, but most importantly, farmers must save themselves!  The USDA or any other entity is NOT going to save you.  Farms subsidies and carbon payments may give you an added bonus but it is not going to make a huge difference to most operations!  Too many farmers have chased subsidies for years to the point where the tail is now wagging the dog for many of them and they are going bankrupt as a result.  We must get farmers to understand that regenerative farming methods are better for the soil, the animals, the environment, the consumer, the community, but most importantly it's better for their PROFITABILITY.  That should be incentive enough for any business minded farmer of rancher!  Many of us have transitioned without any major outside incentives and others can too.  But they have to open up their minds.  Many farmers I know would rather be carried off the farm kicking and screaming than to consider alternatives.  That's why we are seeing the significant rise in farm bankruptcies.  It's going to take a new generation of farmers to implement changes on a broad scale.  Maybe it's a good thing that the average age of the American farmer is 59.4 years old?

 

Kevin Fulton

Fulton Farms

Litchfield, Nebraska 

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Here's another presentation from the Environmental Group meeting.  

https://www.discoverpermaculture.com/p/video-1-pdc-2019


  

THAT'S IT FROM THE HILL FOR THIS WEEK.  ART AND DEBRA

"BE HEALTHY, EAT GRASS"

Art Ozias

(aozias@gmail.com)

www.breezy-hill-farm.com