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Drought is Nearby – Will it Rain today?

Hello all, from a very weary farmer,

Yestre’s chance of rain went ‘poof’. Now, National Weather Service radar shows a long band of rain stretching from the Mid-West to here. Getting a good soak is now crtical for local agriculture.

Yesterday I drove eight miles, to a local farm, to purchase two pick-up loads full of hay and straw. I knew I would have to pay dearly for these loads, because although the Spring cutting was fair, the Late Summer cutting looks iffy. Yet, I did not really know how bad the drought was on the Gettysburg Plain, until I pulled up their dusty farm lane.

While the farmer, burned brown by the relentless sun, helped me load our truck, we talked. This man, now 50, was the third generation farmer on their family farm. During much of the time, they have been plagued by low commodity prices, brought on by the artificially low prices caused by over-production on the “Subsidy Farms”, a by=product of insane farm policy devised by USDA. But now, with the boost provided by ethanol and bio-diesel production, the price of corn and soy beans is way up = the best prices in decades. But it is not doing my friend any good, because his corn and beans are grey green and withering in the drought.

He told me that if he doesn’t get a couple inches of rain today, he will call his insurance agent, to start his claim for a complete crop failure. So, when the farmer presented me with his bill, which was 25 cents higher per bale than last year, I paid it without a qualm. This is the least I can do to support our local farms. As we talked, he pointed out a neighboring similar-sized 100 acre ( 40 H.A.) farm, that had just been sold for two million dollars, to be converted into another suburb. My wife Judy has written a song, on her “Gettin’ By” CD, entitled “Who Will Feed us Now?”. This lament follows her song “A Thousand Acres a Day”, which is about how much farmland is being converved to Sprawl every day.

So, I hope for all farmers, that we get some rain today, so we can all get a crop this year, to feed you, and to fend off the developers, for another year…….

Thank You

Thom Marti

PS: It is my belief that if anyone believes that Third World Food is going to feed us, when this society goes past “Peak Oil” ( within the next decade), then that person is wrong! LOCAL FOOD – LOCAL ECONOMY

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