SEGMENT: LIVESTOCK, LAND ACQUISITION, RETIREMENT
Howard Lanan>NIU Collection>NIU Collection, Segment 12
- Howard agrees that he needed less machinery & was less susceptible to the crop market by being in livestock. Had beans for a cash crop
- FARM EQUIPMENT
- Did not buy expensive machinery because of "Scots in my blood." Didn't have the acreage that demanded & financed sophisticated machinery.
- LAND ACQUISITION
- Inherited land from family. Wasn't tempted to invest in machinery or land in the 1970s. Guesses other people wanted more land for their kids. Howard and Evelyn prioritized differently. Talks about his grandparents and their land acquisition. He did not borrow to buy land. Phillip King who owned one of farm's Howard now owns bought land for his 6 children.
- Mentions taxes were lower then, Howard's current taxes are about $30/acre.
- CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS
- Chisel plowing or No-till plowing saves work.
- FUTURE OF FARMING
- Raising just as good a crop on less hours of work. Chemicals help as well. Only 40 bushels/acre then, now 120 bushels/acre.
- Hog productivity has increased over the course of Howard's career. Today larger 10pigs/litter, only skinnier 6/litter in past. Eye loin is 5-6 inches today vs. 3 in past. Back fat in past was 3-5 inches, but today is .5 to .9 inches.
- Today, talks about what he's catching up on yard & garden. Restoring 1929 International 2-ton truck which he showed in pumpkin parade. Howard and his wife take trips. She plays the organ in church. Do not dance or go to shows. They watch TV, read. Howard is still a member of the Farm Bureau, but does not belong to any groups other than church. Infrequently plays cards with friends.