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Old 05-11-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,962,646 times
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A good percentage this years Oklahoma wheat has already been damaged from a late freeze.

BT...you mentioned the Dust Bowl........you DO know that the the Dust Bowl was not created by nature or was no Natural Disaster?

I guess you could say that Mother nature did have a roll in it, but not all of it.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,962,646 times
Reputation: 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
Wrong kind of wood I am afraid. I don't have a whole lot of hardwood on my farm actually
Quote:
. A beech ridge here and some pockets of Ash there, but it is mostly Spruce, Fir, Hemlock and Pine.
When the housing market is good, I do well, but when the housing market is down like it is now, and the softwood sawlogs are not selling, and the softwood pulp (used to make paper) is not moving either...well I don't do so well.

My Grandfather has logging trucks and said they got a contract to move 2 loads of softwood a week, so as soon as some other customers get their wood moved, mine will be shipping out. I can wait until then so I'll be fine.

As for the wood itself, you have to keep in mind that here the average homeowner has 80 acres and 90% of this county is forested. Maine is the most heavily forested state in the nation, so EVERYONE here has wood. Typically when hard times come, people here jump in the woods and starting cutting wood to pay for things, but with the papermills either shut down, not buying wood or closed up altogether, the forest products industry here is dead. Being the most job producing part of the economy...it is not a good thing for Maine.

If for some reason I end up sitting on my wood for a few more months, I am looking at turning it into biomass. The pay is a lot lower, but there always seems to be a market for that (biomass=burned wood chips that makes steam to make power for the grid). Here they buy more tons of it in the winter because the water temp is so much lower that it takes a lot more wood to get the temp up. Electrical demand is a bit higher in the winter too, so it might take 6 months but eventually I will sell it.
If Maine is anything like Michigan, some of the land around those type of Pines you mentioned is swampland.


From the age of 6-about 12
One thing I've never forgotten is the smell of a papermill

Our Dairy farm was small enough that on weekend, Holidays and even some days after school we'd go out and cut logs clearing land for the phone and electric companies to put up miles of poles for phone/electric lines.Also thinning out rows of white pine for the Forestry. Cutting 8ft logs and hauling them to a papermill on Lake Michigan. Come to think of it, before we had a skip loader I don't remember how we loaded the logs on the truck You could be miles away from the papermill with the windows up in the truck and still smell it
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
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Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
The grocery store.
Most farmers are self sufficient. That's usually one of the main goals.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:19 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
I guess what really bugs me is the people who don't have a clue, are put into positions where they are telling others what they 'should' do. One woman on a 'self-sufficiency' forum is a moderator/advisor - she posted last week that she is losing her duplex because it is being sold out from under her, the renter. How much self-sufficiency is involved in renting a piece of property that you cannot do anything permanent with, living in the city, and holding down a 'good-paying' job? Many others who post there are simply pining to be self-sufficient - and are emotional basket cases; always complaining about and asking for help for their children, spouses, and self-inflicted emotional wounds. People caught up in lifelong emotional Sturm und Drang cannot get off of their wazoos, take a bull (or even a goat) by the horns, and do what needs to be done! They are emotional vampires, looking for constant support, help, and approval. These types will never be self-sufficient, never learn what needs to be done, and will be drags on everyone else forever, always asking "But what about..." instead of trying it for themselves. As more and more people get on the 'self-sufficient' bandwagon, we will see more and more of what you (and I) dislike, BT - people buying their little pieces of property in the country, 'struggling' to eke out a living, then abandoning it when it gets to be "too hard" - leaving something for someone else to clean up or deal with. Of course, we did get a sweet deal on this place because the people who lived here before were that way... (PS I meant to misspell 'dangerous' in my previous post... hee hee)
I hear you SCGranny. I too was a bit upset a few days ago when I read about a person complaining that "they would lose their apartment and car because they filed for an unemployment extension and will be getting 27 dollars less per week." There was more to the story then that, they had been out of work for over a year and were filing for another unemployment extension. I understand that times are tough, but the person is not working and hasn't for over a year! At some point we (as a society) must realize that we have to reduce our standard of living that are more sustainable in this new economy.

Right now the farm is losing money at a tune of 40K per week. The creameries have just upped the price of milk in the store and the Government whom sets the national milk price, reduced our milk price yet again. Despite this the farms WORK 7 days a week, 24 hours per day, 364¼ Days per year. Its pretty depressing to work and kick food onto the national food chain feeding this country and get farther and farther behind and then hear so many people complain because they are not getting the check they think are entitled too without working at all for it. It just makes you want to swear!

As for some self-suffeciency people being hypocrites, that is especially true. If you remember the guy with the livestock and woodlot example from a few posts ago, he too is a bit of a hypocrite. I once asked him if he had ever gone to the USDA to see what they could get for conservation measures as he lives next to a river. That was when he informed me that "he was going to be self-suffcient and was not going to get any help from the government and that what was wrong with this world today." He ranted and raved worse then that but you get the idea. Anyway a week later he was telling me that he went to the USDA office a year ago, but found out he did not qualify as a farm. He had no intention of being self-suffecient without government help...he found out he did not qualify as a farm and was downright mad about it. Trust me, he would have taken the government money if he could have!
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:47 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkfarnam View Post
BT...you mentioned the Dust Bowl........you DO know that the the Dust Bowl was not created by nature or was no Natural Disaster?
I certainly am no expert on this, but being on the Soil and Water Conservation District, I know our roots began because of a need for soil and water conservation stemming from that era. I have also seen some stuff on the History Channel titled Black Blizzard's which occurred during the dust bowl and know that exposing so much soil to air, and then having a decade long drought caused it to be wind-driven.

That was kind of my point. The reason so much of this topsoil had been plowed up was because so much money could be made in farming just a decade prior to the drought. With the aid of mechanization, a person just needed some equipment, some land and they could be a farmer and rake in the dollar bills as America began to export more and more agricultural products.

In some ways I am seeing this now. More and more people jumping into farming and being pushed there by zealous people who are getting more money from touting up a certain agriculture method or ideology, then from actually using the method. I call myself a Cautious Optimist and when a lot of people are starting to get into the same thing, rather then follow the flock of buffaloes over the cliff, I like to try and look over the horizon and see how I can distinguish myself from the pack and stay in business.

A decade prior to the dust bowl, a lot of people did not think the prosperity on the farms was going to end. You hear that same idea today, but in my 34 years of farming, and with a 386 year family history of farming in this country/colony; prosperity in agriculture seems to be very short-lived. We may have some conservation measures in place that will greatly reduce the reoccurred of the dust-bowl, but fluctuations in weather will always be with us. So will competition, and nothing will put a for sale sign faster on a farm then forgetting that farming is a very competitive business.
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