Question about shellac solvent

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Ed Clarke wrote:

...
Have no information on that...think it would be difficult to make that stand up. I only farm, never drove commercially--well, did one trip w/ a load of calves while in HS from LA to WY w/for local cattle hauler who was in a bind one summer while I was in school...never again! :)
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Norman D. Crow wrote:

I think they got over it because nobody bothered to try to sneak by anymore. Nobody has ever looked at the color of my fuel that I recall. I started driving in '97.
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driving
anymore.
Uncle Sam retired me in '97(type II diabetes on needles). Seems the big switch was in early/mid 90's, and that's when they were checking.
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Silvan wrote:

That sounds reasonable to me...I suspect only in cases where they've already got a renegade that they're looking for even more against or in cases where there's information a particular outfit has been using off-road fuel. There have been, over the years, a few instances where ag distributors have been hit because their delivery units were left in rural areas out here. W/ fuel prices the way they have been over recent years, we don't leave the bulk tanks unlocked any more, either.... :(
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To best of my knowledge, there's so little farm gasoline these

stations,
The color in diesel is to distinguish high sulfur - illegal in commerce - from low sulfur. Farm or any off-road use ok for high sulfur. You want to use Uncle's roads, you follow his rules on fuel.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Another place colored fuel is used is aviation gasoline. 100/130 leaded is green, 100 low-lead is blue. When you check the tank sump to make sure there's no water, you also check the color of the gas to make sure it's what the plane you're flying is supposed to use.
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Norm Crow notes:

I know zip about colored gas, but farmers still get a break on fuel for the tractors in the form of gas that is not taxed for road use. Basically, they pay almost no taxes, which tends to knock at least 30 cents a gallon off. A few farmers around here actually have fuel tanks on their farms, where they can just run the tractor or other gear up to the tank. Diesel is available the same way.
Charlie Self "It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable." Eric Hoffer
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Charlie Self wrote: ...

Don't know where you are, but all operations here have bulk tanks on farm...at 200+ gal/tankful for a modern tractor, to do otherwise is certainly impractical...as far as I know, all states require identification of off-road fuel. It must be an area of quite small farms for there to be any significant number of gasoline powered equipments (even trucks) on a farm these days...out here in grains (that's wheat, milo, corn, soybeans, some sunflowers) country, there isn't anybody still using gasoline and, in fact, there aren't even any equipments made w/ gasoline engines anymore (nor for 30 years or so, in fact) that would be used here. There was a big switch to LP in the 60s, then as equipment kept getting larger and larger, the reliability of diesel plus price led to an almost complete switchover to diesel, certainly by the 90s. A few folks keep one or two of the old small tractors or trucks for around the place (as do I) for mowing and use with bucket, etc., but there's so little gasoline on farm that I can't get bulk delivery of it any longer, although do diesel and could LP (although that's now driven mostly by residential demand for those who aren't on a natural gas tap, not because there's sufficient equipment usage by itself).
A "small" tractor here now is >100 hp...when I was a young(er) whippersnapper in the 60s, when we got our first Case 930 the ~80 hp beast seemed absolutely <huge>! Large tractors now are pushing 300 hp, 4-wheel drive articulated beasties. Now we do rowcrop cultivating w/ larger tractors than the largest made when I was growing up. Of course, we went from four rows to 6, then 8, then 12, now 16 at 3 mph, then 4-5, now pushing 8. I don't have it yet, but could put on GPS guidance and start down the row maintaining inch accuracy and repeatibility from one pass to the next. Planter now does actually count and place each seed in the row within a fraction of an inch relative to the previous to control seeding density. A combine has yield monitors tied to GPS to monitor yield versus field area which can then automatically be correlated to soil conditions, fertilizer and herbicide/insecticide applications, etc. to determine most cost-effective practices...'tis absolutely a complete revolution to the 60 year old who spent 30 years as an engineer and came back to the farm after Dad died...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I believe Charlie's in the same general region I am. Around here it's small farms mostly. The guy down the way grows a little bit of corn and other things and a lot of tobacco--best cigar-wrapper in the world--even the Cubans used to import it. Most of his equipment dates back to the '60s or earlier.

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"J. Clarke" wrote:

...
...

That's what I surmised...our 12 quarters (160 A/quarter for those where things aren't all broken up into nice neat square sections) were well above average for the county when I was growing up...now I'm one of the smaller producers in the county, but at 60+ I'm not looking to expand further...
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On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 20:55:30 -0500, "J. Clarke"

I was going to write "HEY! That's CT Valley Wrapper!", then I realized it was you. <G>
Barry
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

That's why 90% of farms are owned by Conglom-Ag isn't it? Seems to me Farmer Brown can't afford all that big John Deere iron I see running out in farm country. That stuff must be *expensive*. They want $1,200 for a li'l ol' lawn mower.
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in
li'l
There's an old(very old) joke they like to tell at the tractor pulls about some city slicker getting stuck, waking up a farmer for a tow, then telling the farmer 'now be careful you don't damage my $15,000 Cadillac". The farmer responds "Well, you can be damn sure I'm not going to damage my $80,000 tractor"!
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Norm Crow writes:

Has to be waaaaaaaaaaaay old! When was the last time you heard of a 15K Caddy?
Charlie Self "It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable." Eric Hoffer
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Charlie Self wrote:

Or an $80,000 tractor. Probably multiply this by 2.5 or so I'd say.
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Silvan wrote:

There's such a wide selection of starting models plus options these days it's essentially meaningless to put out "averages". Most would be in the factor of 2 or less multipler a few, of course, can be even higher. A major difference from olden days is the cost of implements owing to all the enhanced features. A 12- to 16- row planter can push $100k.
The insurance/replacement value of my old '79 4440 is greater than it cost new, of course, to put some perspective on $$...
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Silvan wrote:

Actually, that's <not> true at all...in actuality, other than the corporate hog and chicken producers, most are still family-owned businesses...of course, they have gotten larger...

True...it takes more than 40A and a mule these days, particularly in commodity crops...
However, it's like any other industry in some ways...the higher productivity of the larger equipment and improved agronomics is the key. Recall I mentioned in '63 I planted four rows at 3-1/2 mph. Now it's 16 at about 7-1/4 mph. That's a diferrence of roughly a factor of eight. That crop in '63 might have yielded 60 bu/acre (milo, dry land (non-irrigated)). Today, assuming similar growing conditions, I'd <expect> near 80 to as much as 100. However, the recent spike in fuel costs is definitely a hit--I'm studying carefully what to do for next spring. Winter wheat, of course, is already in and up (and looking good, here, too!) :)
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

You know more about it than I do, surely, but it certainly looks to me like what I said above is true. Driving through the rural Carolinas, for example, it seems like just about every patch of dirt that doesn't have a strip mall on it has a sign in the corner saying something like "This Property Owned and Operated by Agri-Mega-Corp."

It also seems to me that efficiency or no, it must be much easier to go broke than to turn a profit in that business. I guess that's true of any business, but it just seems to me, as an outsider, like the deck is stacked against farming all around. They want your land for strip malls and yuppie gated golf communities, so they can get higher property taxes.
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Silvan wrote:

...
...
There are certainly local differences...and, yes, NC (and perhaps SC, I don't know as much about it) are quite different from the midwest. Corporate farms are, in fact, illegal in most of the high plains and have been so for decades. It's getter harder to preserve these regulations, but so far, they've managed to keep them at bay. As I said, our major vertical integration here is w/ Seaboard and their type w/ the hog farms. We do have some commercial dairy operations moving in from CA owing to the regulation and expense they're running into there. For the most part, they're much smaller operations than the hog production, however. For what it's worth, other than the "close to end market" argument, I've always thought the large hog operations in NC were a bad idea. Out here where it's arid and there are areas which can be far removed from residential areas it's tolerable but even here they're not universally welcome. I, for one, would be pleased to see Seaboard forced to diversify but it will never happen--it's the same as WalMart--the consumer these days is only interested in the minimum cost, despite their protestations otherwise. If costs rise, production will go to those places where it is less regulated (read expensive).

It's certainly an apt summary...out here on dry land, we figure on one or two good years out of five, hopefully two others will be break-even and the fifth is almost guaranteed to hurt...it takes excellent management and cash flow (and an understanding banker) to survive. It seems every year there's a raft of new challenges...this year it's rocketing fuel prices and soybean Asian rust or the BSE panic to name just a couple you've certainly heard of...
We fortunately don't have the population explosion here as in some areas, but it is an issue indirectly. Population shifts have concentrated power in the urban areas here as well so that the cities dominant policy to the detriment of rural. Our state senator, for example, has a district that represents 61 of the 105 counties and the average geographical area of the western counties is significantly larger than that of those farther east. Something like 80% of the counties in the western two-thirds of the state are actually declining in population. Only the half-dozen with a local community-college and/or one of the packing plants are either growing or even holding their own... :(
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Silvan wrote:

You are probably not that wrong, just in statistics. The number of farms continues to drop and the size of farms continues to rise. So big corporation farms in terms of acres, continues to increase, but total numbers of farms also continues to decrease.
The family farm, as an institution, generally passed away long ago. There are lots of gentleman farms, but I would hardly call those family farms.
Anyway, farms are a business whether family or corporation owned. If you don't know how to run a business you fail, no matter how hard you may work. A lot of so called farmers don't seem to understand that.
I have to laugh everytime I hear about some poor guy and his wife losing the family farm because of the poor economy, government screw ups, or what have you. Usually it turns out that he owned it for only 5 years (not what most people envision as "the family farm") and that the guy really knew very little about farming or running a business. Another one of those "poor me, it's not my fault I failed."
Don't get the idea I am running down "the family farm." Successful farms are still around, but the owners learned and adapted to the business requirements of today. More power to them.
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