SEGMENT: FARMING METHODS & FARM BUSINESS
Dr. Edward Runge>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 5
- FARMING METHODS
- Charlie Phillips in KY started no-till in hilly land. George McKibbin was a fan of his who worked with herbicides to burn off stubble. Agronomist looked askance at them. By the time of Round-Up, though, it was cheaper to use that than till. Hilly soils can be farmed intensively with that.
- FARM BUSINESS
- In 1960-2007, had one dollar corn, then two dollar corn. Break even point is four dollars a bushel. Now price is high. U.S as a whole produces a stable crop. But for a farmer, he must have something to sell to have an income. Has weather risks. Farmer has fixed acreage to produce specific amount; can't vary with demand. The Ag programs have to look toward the manufacturing industry as a model. Farmers gamble and one or two years in ten is bad. Over-Production is always better than underproduction. Have to have it to make the secondary industries work - like cereal makers, ADM, etc. Government policy to produce enough, that is, price-depressing amounts. Price supports (loan deficiency) kick in if prices low. Must have something to balance risks. Government payments imposes subsidies from all of us. Describes how Plains states farmers changed from corn to cattle to ethanol with local co-ops. Boomed for a while with energy crunch. Supply and demand with natural crop has fluctuations.