[Market-farming] Tillage is tillage

Tradingpost tradingpost at lobo.net
Thu Feb 8 22:05:03 EST 2007

It's not rocket science. Compare the cost of all that equipment, gas,
maintenance, and labor for running it with the cost of labor to get the
same results over the life of the equipment. If it's mostly your own labor
then the profit is your pay. No contest. How many people can one couple
feed? Oh, a hundred, give or take, maybe with some paid help at harvest
time - if they know how to manage low-input production and direct
marketing. But not if they're paying off a lot of land and equipment,
buying inputs that keep rising, and selling to the middleman who squeezes
out what the input salesmen didn't get. 

You mention health care. Assuming you're serious, who has health insurance
that won't bankrupt them with a serious, chronic condition? Are you aware
that the fastest rising cause of bankruptcy is medical bills for people who
HAVE health insurance? Checked your deductibles lately, your copays and
caps? You should. 

You mention retirement. Well, if you worked for K-Mart a while back, you
lost it all. If you flew certain passenger jets, you lost most of it and
had to go drive a truck. And guess what happens when your job is outsourced
to China or India. 

Vacation? Who gets a vacation? Americans are working much longer hours with
less time off than anytime in my lifetime. 

Sure, if you're only growing one cash crop a year on a piece of land, you
can get a higher yield with machinery. But someone growing multiple crops
intelligently without power equipment on a piece of land can get higher
TOTAL output, or at least a higher net profit or ROI. If that matters. Of
course those who haven't ever tried it have to say it's ridiculous. Fine
with me, but millions of conventional farmers have lost their farms, and
half of those left have to work another job just to pay bills and keep the
farm. Now tell me how efficient is the mechanized, chemical farming
industry. Tell me how failure is really success. 

paul tradingpost at lobo.net

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 2/8/2007 at 9:16 PM Sharon and Steve wrote:

>> If you'll try to specify what it is you're disputing, maybe I can
>> It  helps to take a definite position and support it. I'm not inclined
>> guess what you're driving at. Try it.
>> paul tradingpost at lobo.net
>I dont think I left you much to guess at, but I will shorten it up:
>Show me the numbers where labor is cheaper than machine work.
>Show me how many folk a couple with land and hand tools can feed. How is 
>that translated to salaries (equal to teachers just as a referrence
>health care, retirement, vacation?
>What is there about growing food that you can do with hand tools that 
>someone else cannot do, x 100 or more, with a decent stock of motorized 
>Market-farming mailing list
>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

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