SEGMENT: SPECIALTY CROPS, LAND, & FARM BUSINESS

Michael Johnson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 24

SEGMENT: SPECIALTY CROPS, LAND, & FARM BUSINESS,

duration 15:03
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FAMILY
Talks about how he met his wife.
FARM BUSINESS
Kept bees for 17 years, then sold it. In 1997, sawmill business in bee-processing building.
LAND
Tree farm system guidelines include conservation, inspection, tax rates. Walked the timber with the officer. Wanted to do Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) ten acres a year.
SPECIALTY CROPS
You thin trees out, kill weeds, plant. Silva culture includes huge tracts of ownership, not always planted in rows of trees. Silva culture is similar to other farming but the time scale is much longer. Deer and turkeys can overrun the groves; they eat seedlings, mast, rub on saplings. Rabbits eat seedlings. Must have fences or tubes around them. Diseases like oak wilt on red oaks is common. Chestnut blight killed 99 per cent of chestnuts in the US in the last century. Solved by crossing chestnuts and elms with the Chinese species to be disease-resistant. Butternut is susceptible to butternut canker; will kill all US butternuts. No remedy. Ash yellows disease on ashes, and the emerald ash borer pest is a problem. Parasitic wasps imported from Asia to introduce to try to stop the beetle. Solutions include increasing the number of species to maybe survive unknown future threats. Also he plants the Shumard'S oak, tulip poplars, KY coffee trees and other more southern species.