[NAFEX] farming observations

fuwa fuwa usagi fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com
Thu Dec 27 22:30:07 EST 2007


Tom writes:

A farmer with spare time...?

My reply:

My back yard neighbor is a farmer.  He grows corn, soybean, and pop corn (for an endowment) on most acreage (over 1000 acres), he also grow apples, grapes, peaches, raspberries, and the usual garden variety goodies for personal consumption...that being said he is 89 years old.  

He lives to farm, that is his life and all that matters to him - so he has no spare time.  His spare time is spent farming.  He hated my guts when I first moved in, and now I am his favorite "cause I know what land is for".   He hates the weeds in my yard and gripes about them, but he claims he has never seen better "dirt" then mine.  He is always getting samples and showing his friends.

Tom writes;

I know that farmers with less than 1,000 acres need to diversify.  It is
difficult to keep your head above water if your single cash crop 
plummets on the commodities market.  

My reply:

I got the idea form the AG school grads I know that they use the commodity markets to hedge their bets.  

I also had the distinct idea that in the states most peoplew with 1000 acres or so were really in the real estate business and just running crops to get a tax break on the land. 

Tom writes:

Dairy, pigs, beef cattle, cash crops all chew up time.  Then there is
machinery maintenance, break downs and business planning.  I have never
known a farmer with spare time, unless you are talking about a farm with
enough hands to make the work load lighter.  However, unless the farms 
hands are "family" they are too expensive.

My reply:

I have an acquaintance who works for IBM as a techy, he also owns several thousands of aces of Kansas farm land which he leases to others and take s a percentage of the crops.  I guess that is smart farming.  His job takes in 100K plus and his farms return about the same without him ever having to work the farm.

Tom writes;

I know a number of small farmers and their life is their farm, with very
little time for hobbies.

My reply:

Years ago, I wrote in this very forum about this.  But if you want prestige farming is not going to get it for you.  Most people will speak to you in one syllable words, assume you marry your sister, and feel compelled to explain what the Internet is to you every time they meet you, as well as tell you that there is an election this year.

So it is good farming is their life, as they would probably prefer to run people over with their tractors when they talked to them anyways.  

lil' ol' me

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