Going Green

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Random Thoughts on Some Issues in Agriculture

It has been awhile (again) since I have posted anything on this blog.  I don't know why, but, I feel compelled to write something agriculturally related!

Perhaps it is the approach of Spring that has me thinking agriculture.  I flew over the Flint Hills today as American Airlines took me from DFW to Omaha and saw several burned places as well as burning grasslands.  It is the time of year when ranchers are preparing for Spring rains and the renewing of the grasslands.

Burning the prairie to control the noxious weeds and brush is still commonly practiced in the Flint Hills.  It should be practiced in a lot of other places too, but, it isn't.  Brush has invaded much of the former grazing lands where buffalo once roamed -- from Texas to the Dakotas.  There does seem to be renewed interest in controlled burning though.  I'd really like to see it happen.  The problem is, the uninformed will complain about the smoke in the air.

It is amazing to me how people have lost touch with the land and the source of their food supply.  Urban sprawl and misguided government programs have cost much of the land that used to be the home to beef cattle.  That land today is growing houses or invasive weed, brush and tree species because it is in a "conservation" program of some sort.  Ranchers generally do an exceptional job of managing land the way it should be managed.  Using grazing species of animals to harvest grass and control invasive species is the way God designed it.  Instead, it now takes an army of people to do what a good rancher can accomplish by himself and maybe a couple of hired hands.

I guess when the price of beef gets too high, people might start to see things differently.  But, I guess that's the agenda of the Vegans and Vegetarians anyway -- cause the price of beef to increase until people can't afford to eat it.  Doesn't that make a lot of sense?  Make high-quality protein unaffordable to people who need it.  Sounds like a pretty elitist attitude to me.

But, there is the argument that the world can't feed itself if so much of the agricultural capacity is utilized for producing protein from inefficient sources like cattle.  I have several problems with that.  First, cattle are extremely efficient utilizers of forage that is unusable by humans unless converted to meat first.  Second, the reason people are starving in the world has nothing to do with beef cattle in the U.S. or other places.  It's more about corruption and poor governance.  Third, the force driving food prices and availability, etc. is fuel prices and policies.  Oil is the energy choice most easily utilized for producing food.  Or, we could go back to human and animal labor if you prefer (and some think we should).  So, what does our government do?  It uses some of that food produced using oil to create an additive (alcohol) to add to the oil used to produce it.  How does that make sense?  Talk about inefficient utilization!

Arrgh....too many interwoven issues -- all of them created by misguided people with misguided policies.  If I didn't know better, I'd think the Devil himself was trying to make it as difficult as possible for farmers and ranchers to do their job.  Malnourished people are much more likely to fall for his schemes than are healthy, happy ones.  Besides, misery is his stock in trade.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Regulating Cattle Emissions and Conspiracy Theories

OK. I’ve finally had enough of the ludicrous idea that the way to control greenhouse gases is to regulate emissions by livestock. I suspect it is really a plan to destroy the livestock industry by those who think we should all become Vegans. Or, maybe it is something even more sinister.


The carbon cycle is relatively simple to describe although its actions are complex. Living things are carbon-based. This includes plants and animals. Plants take carbon-dioxide out of the atmosphere, trap the carbon into their tissue in the form of various molecules such as sugars and then release Oxygen. Animals eat plants (or other animals) and through the process of digestion, break down the complex molecules (such as sugars) from the plant material and utilize the released energy to fuel their existence. In the process of digestion, some of the carbon is released back into the atmosphere as various gases and carbon dioxide is released through respiration. This process cycles the carbon in a somewhat continuous loop. Plants also release carbon when they die. The process of decomposition releases carbon into the atmosphere.

This carbon cycle has continued since the beginning of life on this planet. At one time in pre-history, there was significantly more carbon floating around in the atmosphere which fueled riotous growth of plants. Many of those plants were then trapped in sediment and over time changed to oil, gas and coal or were bound into limestone and other sedimentary rocks.

Until we began releasing the carbon that was “sequestered” in the form of oil, gas and coal, carbon wasn’t a problem. It was cycled through plants and animals just as it is today. It was this release from the utilization of fossil fuels of huge amounts of carbon back into the carbon cycle that created what some scientists today are claiming to be a cataclysmic problem for life on earth. In other words – it isn’t the cattle that are causing “climate change,” it is the burning of fossil fuels that released huge amounts of trapped carbon into the atmosphere that is causing the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

So, why do our government and the governments of other nations throughout the world think the solution lies in regulating gas produced by cattle? Here is one possibility – it is part of the plan to control the world food supply. In the U.S. most crops are subsidized through various support payments. Livestock production is not. Placing regulations on the livestock producers under the guise of controlling greenhouse gas emissions makes sense only in the context of attempting to gain control of one of the few lightly regulated industries left.

It fits into what could be construed as a plan to force a one-world government. The way I see it, if one wanted to control the world you would begin with a series of induced crises. The crises would be designed to gain control of some key things – banking, energy and food. Hmmmm…..we recently saw manipulation of the first two of these items. That leaves food. I wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes in Copenhagen……

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bovine Genome Sequencing News

This is important in developing new ways to combat disease in cattle and to continue improvements to food safety.

Bovine genome sequencing provides clues to possible new developments

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

HR 875

Below is a note that I received from Alex Tiller. Check it out.

"I wanted to make you aware of an online petition to stop HR 875, the so called “Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009” that would effectively obliterate small scale farming and gardening for profit in America. It would crush our small local food producers by imposing heavy government regulation that only large corporations could adhere to.
Please check out: http://www.leavemyfoodalone.org/ "

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Conservation Tactics Resource

Increasingly, landowners are interested in managing their properties in a manner that is beneficial to wildlife. This is due not only to the aesthetic values they provide but also because of the income potential. The article linked below will lead to a bibliography of published works available for best management practices for various species. Intended for wildlife professionals, it is also valuable to landowners seeking to maximize the wildlife potential of their properties.

Conservation Tactics to Help Fish and Wildlife Thrive Featured in New Bibliography

Friday, January 2, 2009

Texas Energy Efficiency Study

It makes good economic sense to be as efficient as possible with power usage. We just completed installation of a new central heating and cooling system in our home. With the technological improvements since our previous unit was built, we should save about 40% on our electricity usage with the new unit. It will pay for itself in less than 10 years at that rate.

Electricity study embraces energy efficiency for state

The Winds of Nicaragua

For some energy-starved countries, wind is becoming an increasingly important source of power.

Nicaragua adds wind power to energy mix

Summary of Poznan Climate Conference

The following is a link to:

COP14—PoznaƄ Climate Conference Summary

Whatever your thoughts on climate change, it has definitely become a part of our world economic situation.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Carbon Taxing Food

New EPA rules could conceivably be interpreted to mean that livestock producers will be required to pay a carbon tax based on the number of animals on their premises. This is absolutely crazy. It will drive enough producers out of business that the cost of food in the form of animal proteins will go sky high. The last time that I looked, food was somewhat important to life on this planet. Below is just one of numerous related articles.

Livestock industry raises stink over EPA report on air pollution

If you think about it, livestock are converting unusable carbon into edible carbon. A cow converts grass into beef. Would you rather be eating grass or beef?

Most of the beef in our grocery stores comes from corn-fed cattle. That corn is raised by farmers who use diesel to fuel their tractors. That diesel will also be taxed. So, that means livestock producers in this instance will be subject to double taxation if a "cow" tax is implemented. Our country -- the world -- has lost its ever-loving mind over "climate change" when in fact, 2008 will be the coolest year of the decade. What is the world coming to????!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ethanol Consolidation Appears to be Beginning

It was only a matter of time given the tight or non-existent margins in the ethanol industry. Much of the initial capital came into ethanol companies because of favorable tax incentives. Now we will see consolidation.

I suspect that we are only beginning the first wave of consolidation. It will be driven by the most efficient current producers. The second wave will see the major oil companies entry.

First signs of consolidation in ethanol industry

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Free Resource on Feeding Distillers Grains

A free downloadable book is available from Iowa State on feeding distillers grains to livestock and poultry. It can be accessed at the link below.

MATRIC Publishes Book on Feeding Distillers Grains

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BLM Rules on Oil Shale Development

It will take all forms and sources of energy to achieve energy independence. This one will be more controversial than some of the others, but needs to be part of the solution.

Bureau of Land Management Finalizes Rules That Could Add Billions of Barrels of Oil to U.S. Supply

More on Wild Horses

My last post about "wild" horses received a lot of comments. I think that I will just post the link and leave any commentary to visitors.

A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West