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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Sustainable Farming

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nybadlybent

01-14-2014 13:04:58
74.79.159.227



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Some have been inquiring as to the meaning of the term "sustainable farming" so here it is in my opinion.
Around any farming community you will find a few sustainable farmers. Now you can't look at one and know that they are practicing "sustainable farming" and unless you know a little about the family you will not be able to tell. Here is the description that a long time farmer gave me and I believe you will agree that he is right when you think about it.
Here goes.....When a person runs a money losing farm, think hobby farm, and his wife is working at a good paying job, with benefits, to SUSTAIN him while he loafs around the home place with his weedy garden you have SUSTAINABLE FARMING.

Now I don't want to hear from a lot of real farmers who have a working spouse because you are not the ones I am referring to. Yet I believe you know someone like I was referring to around your area.

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GeneMO

01-17-2014 05:33:54
71.51.202.146



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
So If every farm in the US was forced to switch to sustainable practices, No GMO seeds, no pesticides, and manure only for fertilizer, what would yields fall to?

How many would starve?

What country would be the first to start a war to get food for their people?

Do you have enough ammo and a place to make a last stand to fight off the masses coming out of the cities trying to find food?

Just a thought.

Gene

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John Fulton

01-18-2014 16:13:42
69.35.211.53



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to GeneMO, 01-17-2014 05:33:54  
Gene, Sounds to me like you are talking about Amish when you say no GMO, no pesticides and natural fertilizers. Haven"t seen many starving Amish!



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Eldon (WA)

01-17-2014 12:31:21
98.225.11.231



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to GeneMO, 01-17-2014 05:33:54  
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I believe ag in Africa is sustainable....right???



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oldtanker

01-19-2014 07:50:41
66.228.255.116



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Eldon (WA), 01-17-2014 12:31:21  
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No farming in Africa is almost non-existent compared to the amount of farmable land. There are 2 major reasons. One is infrastructure. They lack fuel, equipment and other supplies in many areas. A few years back an American church group took old tractors, easy to maintain one, fixed them up and took them to Africa to teach the locals there how to farm more productively. When the church were done and left the natives used them until they ran out of fuel. No fuel supply equals no tractors running. The other problem is that we have made those people dependent on hand outs. My wife attended college with an African student taking AG classes who complained bitterly about the refugee camps that families had been in so long that they were afraid to leave. In the camp someone gave them food every day. They didn't have to worry about no crops because of draught. They got fed. He said that the camps and free food was the worst thing the developed nations ever did to Africa as it made the people afraid to leave. So if you went to Africa with the necessary equipment, parts, fuel, seeds, fertilized and other stuff you could grow just as good of crops as we grow here.
The thing is Gene sustainable doesn't mean no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. It means only as needed. Using manure and whatever else like crops residue to put something back into the ground that will hold nutrients there. If every year you have to put my chemical fertilizer on per acre to get the same yields then something is wrong with the soil conditions. That is not sustainable in the long run.

Rick

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Bret4207

01-17-2014 08:34:23
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to GeneMO, 01-17-2014 05:33:54  
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Isn't the question WOULD any people actually starve? WOULD any country start a war to feed it's people? The assumption that yields would fall so drastically that starvation would occur is kinda iffy. I'm sure there'd be some rough spots, but not fogging whole sections down with Roundup doesn't mean certain starvation for the world.

"Sustainable". You seem to be confusing that with "Organic". You can have sustainable systems that still use pesticides and such, you just don't aim to soak the place in it for the most part. Same with fertilizer, "organic" means no chemical fertilizers I suppose, sustainable more often means limited amounts or more targeted use. And GMO, well, does that mean hybrids as some people say of Roundup ready, patented seed? There are OP varieties being developed that hold a lot of promise in the corn line.

It doesn't have to be "either or" in my view. We can have both. It's the zealots on both sides that make the most noise.

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T in NE

01-15-2014 19:41:48
75.238.255.140



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
When anyone starts talking about "sustainable" anything, what they really mean, is "government controlled".

The urge to save humanity is often a convenient disguise for the urge to rule it.



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Bret4207

01-16-2014 04:28:25
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to T in NE, 01-15-2014 19:41:48  
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I disagree entirely based on what my idea of sustainable is. To me it's OP corn, crop rotation, returning manure to the land, spraying specific areas in a problem field, maybe on foot with a backpack sprayer, and not just fogging the whole field with poison, grazing, getting out and walking the land and look at what it can do as opposed to dumping supplements on it and forcing it to produce a marginal crop.

That's sustainable to me, working with what the land will do and improving it over time. And I don't get a dime of gov't money to do anything on my farm. It has nothing to do with saving humanity and everything to do with being a good steward of my land.

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John Fulton

01-18-2014 16:29:59
69.35.211.53



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Bret4207, 01-16-2014 04:28:25  
Exactly, Bret,
"Sustainable Farming" is working smarter, not harder. Applying a lot of economics, science and common sense into your operation. Looking at what has worked in the past and being able to adapt those and other innovative ideas to insure your land can provide yours and the next generation with a decent living.



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Bret4207

01-19-2014 04:46:01
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to John Fulton, 01-18-2014 16:29:59  
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I think a lot of the hate and vitriol comes from confusing definitions and application of terms. "Organic" can mean a lot of different things for instance. "Sustainable", "natural", "free range", etc all have varied meanings. I think you and I pretty much look at "sustainable" from the same pov, others don't, thus the problem.



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oldtanker

01-16-2014 07:55:47
66.228.255.116



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Bret4207, 01-16-2014 04:28:25  
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Well put.

Rick



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T in NE

01-16-2014 19:10:34
75.235.150.150



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to oldtanker, 01-16-2014 07:55:47  
The trouble is, the government is going to define "sustainable" for us, and whenever anything gets described as "sustainable", it means more government control.
The quote relates directly to that fact.



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Bret4207

01-17-2014 04:37:46
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to T in NE, 01-16-2014 19:10:34  
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You don't have to let the gov't define YOU. I'm trying to find a "sustainable" paradigm for my farm that lets me use the least amount of bought in product and labor and reap the highest gains from what I've got to work with. That is MY definition of sustainable and I don't care what the gov't calls it.



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oldtanker

01-15-2014 21:38:00
66.228.255.116



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to T in NE, 01-15-2014 19:41:48  
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LOL nope no government control, it's not sustainable! And that's really the truth about most people into sustainable farming.
Thing of it is, is this. If your livestock needs meds, no problem do it but don't feed them antibiotics just because. Sure feed your cows grain but have them on pasture or long stem hay too. Put something back into the soil besides just chemicals. Nothing wrong with soil testing and using chemical fertilizers. But put something back in that will hold the nutrients there. Herbicides and pesticides only as needed. Pretty much GMO is out but hybrids are acceptable.
Now there are some folks out there who have sustainable one step away from organic and that step would be the certs needed for organic but that is a fringe group.
So the local guys here with one exception I know of in the county could sell their beef to what is generally accepted the sustainable market. We only have one feed lot operation that I know of. I have a nephew who works for a local BTO grain beef farmer. The guy ships over 1000 finished cattle a year that can all be classed as sustainable. And he's not the only one. Lot of guys here ship 50-500 head a year like that.

You guys should read the rules. What counts as grass fed? What counts as angus? For an animal to be sold as grass fed it has to have only grass/hay available for a 30 day period. For an animal to be sold as Angus you only have to prove 10%. Really go read the rules. It's kinda interesting.

Rick

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Dan Richardson

01-15-2014 06:41:13
67.236.0.209



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Edd in KY, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  

rrlund said: (quoted from post at 02:44:40 01/15/14) Yes,I make a living farming. The wife doesn't work and I don't do anything else. That's the trick,just farming to make a living. Farmers get in to trouble when they go from trying to make a living to trying to make money.

I honestly don't know what anybody means when they talk about "sustainable farming". Sustaining yourself? Sustaining the land? Got me hanging as to what these nut cases are talking about.


Don't worry about it. It's just a phrase that some yuk made up to get attention. It can be interpreted any way you like and still be correct. I think 'twerk' had something to do with it.
This post was edited by Dan Richardson at 06:50:17 01/15/14.

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oldtanker

01-15-2014 08:13:36
66.228.255.116



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Dan Richardson, 01-15-2014 06:41:13  
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OK sustainability goes further than just taking care of the soil.

Lets look at seed. You buy seed that won't grow a subsequent crop. (I know it's not going to happen) The seed companies all fail for what ever reason. What are you planting the next year. Therefore, long term, those seeds were not sustainable. Some soil experts are claiming that with no other inputs other than chemical fertilizer and no till eventually the soil will get to the point where it requires so much chem ferts that it's no longer profitable to plant, therefor not sustainable. They are claiming that organic material, manure, crop residue ECT needs to be put into the soil as well as any needed chemical fertilizers. Rotational grazing or some other method of taking care of the soil in a pasture. Raising animals instead of buying feeders because if the market for feeders drys up. Just kinda follow up with that line of thinking. Now some of the ideas that are being bandied about sound more like organic farming by some proponents of sustainable farming.

Rick

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Bret4207

01-15-2014 04:39:04
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
In my area no one can start farming without some outside income. Can't be done, no way, no how. We're using money from my retirement check to fund a lot of this farm, but it's darn sure no "hobby". I get the same thing from the dairy farmers around here, "If you aren't dairying and milking at least 100 head, it's just a hobby." Horse puckey. One of the biggest mouths in that line around will tear down any guy that doesn't meet his 100 cow dairy rule, but he also freely admits to "farming the gov't" and owns an insurance agency and a lot of rental housing units. Another guy of the same type makes a lot of money fixing other peoples tractors, yet he claims his income is from farming alone. And he also "farms the gov't".

A lot of this comes down to pride and name calling. Those 2 guys I mentioned both had their farms and their equipment more or less handed to them by Daddy. The rest of us had to start from scratch.

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Tom Schnitzler

01-15-2014 03:56:31
166.182.3.92



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
I've been doing a better job the last couple months keeping the weeds down in the garden, got a good crop of sustainable snow growing, probably grow a few more inches before spring!



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OH2IL

01-14-2014 19:45:41
98.222.92.128



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
Do you mean environmentally sustainable? (which is what is being thrown around in the engineering community a lot now)



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4010guy

01-14-2014 19:11:28
63.131.185.189



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
But i think i am sustainable 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:



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4010guy

01-14-2014 19:09:57
63.131.185.189



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
O K boys :shock: And girls..
I just looked up sustainable in the dictionary :roll: :roll: (hope i dident misspell that) :oops: :oops: :oops: My god :? :? :? :? Now i am confuesed



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daughter of badly bent

01-14-2014 16:04:05
96.249.56.169



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
hey, my husband works a good job and I have a weedy garden. am I sustainable farmer? haha



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Larry@stinescorner

01-14-2014 15:24:51
74.105.24.232



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
hey ,that somewhat describes me! You didnt upset me,,,but my garden is not weedy,so I am a little offended! ,,,,lol



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nybadlybent

01-14-2014 15:42:06
74.79.159.227



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Larry@stinescorner, 01-14-2014 15:24:51  
Larry, didn't intend to insult anyone. Just reporting a tongue in cheek opinion. The money my wife earned helped me thru some hard times.
Keep farming and having fun.



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Larry@stinescorner

01-14-2014 16:55:28
74.105.24.232



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 15:42:06  
no insult taken at all,I agree with your post!



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Traditional Farmer

01-14-2014 15:12:09
67.237.188.53



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
A Substainable Farm is one that'll be able to keep operating once the Gov't $$$ runs out and they have to make it without the Gov't Goodies.



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rrlund

01-14-2014 16:33:02
162.250.26.204



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Traditional Farmer, 01-14-2014 15:12:09  
Gawd! First I had to face the fact that I'm older than old,now I have to live with the stigma of being "sustainable". Will the humiliation never end?



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JayinNY

01-14-2014 17:18:42
198.228.200.164



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to rrlund, 01-14-2014 16:33:02  
Randy, are you making your living farming? Is that all you do? I would think that would be sustainable as you sustain yourself, right? I thought sustainable ment doing something in such a way that you sustain at it and can keep doing it.



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rrlund

01-14-2014 17:44:40
162.250.26.204



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to JayinNY, 01-14-2014 17:18:42  
Yes,I make a living farming. The wife doesn't work and I don't do anything else. That's the trick,just farming to make a living. Farmers get in to trouble when they go from trying to make a living to trying to make money.
I honestly don't know what anybody means when they talk about "sustainable farming". Sustaining yourself? Sustaining the land? Got me hanging as to what these nut cases are talking about.

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JayinNY

01-14-2014 17:57:15
198.228.200.162



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to rrlund, 01-14-2014 17:44:40  
I honestly don't know what anybody means when they talk about "sustainable farming". Sustaining yourself? Sustaining the land? Got me hanging as to what these nut cases are talking about. I think you answerd that, you sustain yourself by farming,?? Or you eat enought food to sustain living, or you have enought gas in your truck to sustain it, to get you to the mill for feed, ect, lol , hahaha , I've cut, split enought wood to sustain threw the winter, or we could just say you farm to "get"threw life, and I got enought wood to "get" threw the winter. Lol, keep sustaining, or getting threw.

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rrlund

01-14-2014 18:23:59
162.250.26.204



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to JayinNY, 01-14-2014 17:57:15  
That doesn't explain McDonalds announcing that by 2016 they will only buy beef from "sustainable sources". What the devil does that mean?



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JayinNY

01-14-2014 18:52:10
198.228.200.174



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to rrlund, 01-14-2014 18:23:59  
I have no idea, I saw that too,, but I don't eat there. Around here Taylor packing would buy at auction the down and lame Holsteins for McDonald's, beef. I think a law was passed that, if they can't walk on there own
They can't be used for meat.



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IaGary

01-14-2014 15:48:37
108.160.236.246



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Traditional Farmer, 01-14-2014 15:12:09  
You do realize our subisides amounted to a whopping 12 dollars an acre the last 4 or 5 years right?

I"m guessing most will survive without that $12 an acre.

It is the input costs that will do us in the next few years.

By the way my wife works off the farm so I must be a sustainable farmer.


Gary



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Spook

01-14-2014 16:41:20
99.124.140.213



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to IaGary, 01-14-2014 15:48:37  
$12 per acre after the ethanaol boom. I know some of my neighbor's were getting over 200K per year when prices were lower. And now you guys are getting subsidized insurance. I don't see other industries getting insurance subsidies?



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IaGary

01-14-2014 19:28:33
108.160.236.246



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Spook, 01-14-2014 16:41:20  
I pay out of my pocket $14 an acre for $600 per acre in coverage for crop insurance.

Or about $20 per a thousand dollars worth of coverage.

My house insurance is $6 per thousand in coverage.

You name me one person who has collected more in crop coverage than they have paid in.

I collected in 2012. First time in my life I have collected. They paid me 25% of what I have paid in for the last 35 years.

The insuance company is collecting that subsidy NOT ME.

Gary

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Unruh

01-14-2014 16:50:15
69.77.211.94



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Spook, 01-14-2014 16:41:20  
I wouldn't complain with my mouth full.



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donjr

01-14-2014 16:15:40
71.246.94.99



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to IaGary, 01-14-2014 15:48:37  
So, that means that the $24 the neighbor made last year ought to be running out in about fifteen minutes and he's gonna be over here drinking my beer?????



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farmerwithmutt

01-14-2014 15:42:36
166.181.3.165



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to Traditional Farmer, 01-14-2014 15:12:09  
Best answer yet .didnt that happen in new zealand?



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Paul

01-14-2014 13:48:15
66.60.223.232



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 Re: Sustainable Farming in reply to nybadlybent, 01-14-2014 13:04:58  
Thank you for the smile. I like that. ;)

I've been telling my wife that same thing for many years now.

Paul



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