Too good to be true?

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Right. I've got 17 acres of it myself. If I could make much more with soybeans, I'd consider it, but right now it's just as profitable, and much less work, to let it sit.

Yes. The days of people being ignorant of crop rotation and soil quality are long gone. Some may choose not to do any of it, but they're at lesat not ignorant of it.
At 60 bucks an acre per year for CRP contracts, I can't see planting soybeans any time soon. If fuel goes waaaaaaaaaay up, then maybe.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

...
Well, as I suspected, your experience "back there" :) is in the buffer or wetland programs...we have 6 full quarters of our own plus 4 more we still rent on shares...that's right at 1600 A. There are another 10 contiguous quarters abutting all this from four separate neighbors who all chose to retire and start the CRP lay-in at or within a couple of years of the time Dad started. All except one were at least in their 70's at that time. The one exception had nearly gone under w/ the hog market disaster and took it as the only way to save the home place at the time. He was in his early 60s. The same scenario took place over large areas out here, not just in our county.
...

I know none that are real production farmers that aren't both aware and serious practicioners--it is simply not possible to survive economically otherwise. All those who used to operate that way are long gone, at least around here.

At 38-40/A, I didn't either. At 28-32/A it starts looking different. It could be hayed for breakeven most years...w/ the requirements for mowing, weed control, etc., the operating cost is not trivial. We got an infestation of sericea lespedeza from the forb seed they required us to overseed into it for improved wildlife habitat. Now that has been placed on the noxious weed list and it is incredibly difficult to eradicate and at $80/gal (including the County Noxious Office kickback), it costs $20/A just for the chemical, w/o application cost. It just really chaps me that they <made> us plant the damn weeds in the grass in the first place (which incidentally cost us half that cost out of pocket besides), introducing the stuff in the first place, and now the entire control cost comes out of our pocket on top of which the new leases are for 20% or more less than the initial. If that occurs again, it's almost a given it will <not> be renewed. It may stay in grass, but it at least will be able to be hayed and grazed even if it doesn't go back into grain production.
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Right, I only have 30 acres total. So, I'm happy leaving it in the long term crop it's growing now (trees). 8000 planted, plus a few thousand volunteers (mostly ash...nice lumber,that) is enough to keep me busy between keeping the listed weeds down, and keeping the lumber shaped properly.

In my part of Wisconsin, no-till is just getting to be common in the family farm setting. So things move slow. Like I said, it's not that they're ignorant of it, they're just chosing not to use it in some cases.

Is that what it's down to now? My contract is good for a few more years, I didn't know it was that low.

Nice going to whichever idiot told you to plant it then, eh? I bet he's not real popular...

I'm almost to the point where the trees make changing my mind a non-option. I've got (thinks....) maybe 5-6 acres in native wildflowers, the university sent out a couple of people to do a site survey and plan & got us started. Looks nice, keeps the weeds out.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

30 acres here is just <almost> enough to turn the combine around in... :) ...

Not everyone is in full no-till here, either, of course. But there's nobody still turning enverything over w/ a oneway plow four times a year like was done in the 50s, either. Anyone farming here is using modern practices or thy're not surviving--fact of life w/ <$3 wheat and >$1.50 ag diesel...

Contract levels are based on conservation district and soil type, etc. Back there where it rains, :) conditions are grossly different than this dryland. But, for us, yes, that's what current are...what'll happen in 2007 is anybody's guess.

Was part of the last CRP practices to "enhance recreational use"...out here, of course, that means pheasant hunting, primarily. The forbs were required practice to add to the seed availability. The lespedeza was weed seed in the forbs, not an intended consequence. That I can live with--shxx happens. What PO's me is no help in fixing a problem not of our causing.
...

Here, trees are a no-no...they're exotics. This is short grass prairie (although there was significant bluestem and other taller grasses. Coronado's journals talk of shoulder high in his wandering around.)
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I understand, believe me. Not many people out here have a full quarter, though. Lots of family farms, lots of custom farmers working other folks' land.

It's very spotty, and surprising which people are doing new stuff and which aren't. Again, the custom for-hire guys seem to do the tech more so than the guy who's using his dad's stuff from the 1950's.

Well, I was thinking about this last night; the effort I've got in those trees, combined with the fact that I've got to keep the weeds down _anyway_, well, I think I'll renew at whatever price I can get - within reason.

Ah, got it. I thought that it was the species they wanted you to plant, but I admit I didn't read it twice or anything.

Me, I'd like them to help with the purple loostrife problem. Sure, I can _buy_ the beetles to eat it, from the DNR, for LOTS of money, or I should be able to call 'em up, tell 'em 'Hey, your 180 acres behind my house has a problem, come fix it" and they should. But, they seem not to. But, God Forbid if I have some of it on my land, or I get the letter. AARGH.

Well, the trees I've put in are Spruce, Pine, Fir, Oak (Red & white around here), Walnut, Maple, and the Ash trees have just decided that they like it here so there's many thousands of those. A few cherry trees, but I'm not sure which variety. Looks like maybe chokecherry, I'll know in a few years. Way I look at it, the lumber-worthy trees, I trim up for straight trunks; the non-lumber trees I let be whatever shape they want so they can do the whole "turn CO2 into Oxygen" thing. At some point, the prairie will decide it's a forest, but I figure I'll let the plants work that out amongst themselves. I mow a 4' path around the wildflower areas to keep the weeds out; the wildflowers seem to be expanding about a foot per year so I move the mowed path out that much.
Current project is picking rocks, and a closely coupled project of building a rock wall. Want some rocks? My hill is a glacial deposit...
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In my part of Wisconsin, no-till is just getting to be common in the

In northern climes there often isn't enough useful rotting time for low or no till to be effective. Depending on the next crop, it is often best to turn it under.
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George wrote:

Also, those areas typically do not have the moisture conservation pressure and wind erosion issues to the extent we have, both of which are addressed by low/no-till...
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wrote:

Zero-till is quite common, and becoming more so, north of the 49th, actually.
--
~ Stay Calm... Be Brave... Wait for the Signs ~
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No-till around here usually involves round-up or similar. Same where you are? I suppose it kills the old whatever, while giving it more time to decompose while the next crop is growing.
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wrote:

Kills the weeds. Rolling it under used to reduce them enough to allow the crop to sprout and defend itself. Still, it's tough to use a cultipacker with corn stubble in place.
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George wrote:

Corn stubble. A million years ago (well, about 33) I moved to Wisconsin. Rented a farmhouse surrounded by acres of corn, which got cut along about mid-October. I rode my OSSA Six Days up and down the rows but since that part of Wisconsin has no hills, it was dull. So I rode across the rows. Yumpin' yiminey! And you do NOT want to unload in corn stubble.
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And don't forget that the btu per unit weight of alcohol is only about 1/2 that of diesel or gasoline.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Lawrence Wasserman wrote:

But about 70-80% by volume....
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

...
It's not a panacea, no...never claimed it to be. It <is> a positice impact, however, and has an added benefit of increased markets for ag products...
There's 200-bu corn raised even here, though. :) Not that it's actually that high an average, that's true. There are so many different "barrels" I wasn't positive which one is the one used in the general sense. The 31.5/gal factor came from my Perry's Chem E Handbook...
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wrote:

Wouldn't do for me for my 90+ miles per day commute, I'm afraid. That and the whole "idiots not seeing bikes" problem.

Well, it was just an example of "car of that weight and displacement not getting 80" I guess was my point. Saab has always been very good about aerodynamics; I think the drag coefficient of the Saab 96 is 0.39 or so, which for a 1960 design is pretty low.

No, I haven't, but I know there's an awful lot of farmland in CRP (or whatever it's called this decade), which could be growing corn for alcohol or soybeans for biodiesel/cattle feed if it paid well enough. I'd rather see the gummint subsidize something like that than some of the other (ahem) stupid stuff it's spending our money on.
Dave Hinz
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In terms of absolute government published figures then the answer to the first point is yes, a few, (four) but this is due to a change five years ago in the way the tests are performed. Government published steady state 56mph tests were routinely in the 50-60mpg bracket 25 years ago.
Real world magazine published road tests show that 80mpg + is achievable across a whole raft of vehicles. Just last year a team of journalists drove around 800 miles from the top end of the UK to the bottom and got more than 100 mpg (in a VW)
Anyway, ignoring the journalists and doing this purely on a scientific basis I've listed below the 159 models that officially, in European Union Type Approval Tests, achieved more than 70mpg on the extra-urban cycle - this being carried out in controlled laboratory conditions on an vehicle that has previously run for around 2.5 miles from a cold start.
It consists of roughly half steady-speed driving and the remainder accelerations, decelerations, and some idling. Maximum speed is 75 mph average speed is 39 mph and the distance covered is 4.3 miles.
In case you have doubts over the size of the vehicles achieving these figures, some of them are two seaters, some are four, some are capable of carrying five median sized Americans with enough space left over for a week of non stop food ;-)
Emissions? Well in general they all meet the latest emissions requirements for Europe (EU4) which is a similar level to that required in the US and Japan. As for the second point, No, but did you expect it to be.?
Sorry for the appalling formatting but if you want the raw data go to
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/downloads/latest.asp
Engine = cubic capacity in cc divide by 16.384 to get cubic inches D=Diesel P = Petrol P/E = Petrol/Electric Vauxhall = UK General Motors ;-)
It might look like there are multiple entries but these are usually for different body styles etc, the raw data which has more columns shows this better.
Manufacturer    Model    Engine    Fuel    MPG VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2004 to 2005 Model Year    1399    D    70.6 FORD    New Focus    1560    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    70.6 MAZDA    Mazda2 (2004 MY)    1399    D    70.6 FORD    New Focus    1560    D    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2005 Model Year Onwards    1560    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    70.6 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    70.6 NISSAN    Micra    1461    D    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2004 to 2005 Model Year    1399    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    70.6 FORD    New Focus    1560    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 MITSUBISHI    Colt    1493    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2005 Model Year Onwards    1560    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 NISSAN    Micra    1461    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    70.6 MAZDA    Mazda2 (2004 MY)    1399    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 CITROEN    C4    1560    D    70.6 FIAT    New Punto (2003)    1910    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 SMART    Smart City Coup Hatchback    698    P    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2005 Model Year Onwards    1399    D    70.6 SMART    Smart City Coup Hatchback    698    P    70.6 FORD    Fusion 2004 to 2005 Model Year    1399    D    70.6 SMART    Smart Cabrio Hatchback    698    P    70.6 SUZUKI    Alto    1061    P    70.6 RENAULT    Mgane Hatchback / Sport Hatchback    1461    D    70.6 KIA    Cerato    1493    D    70.6 CITROEN    Xsara Picasso    1560    D    70.6 HYUNDAI    Accent    1493    D    70.6 VAUXHALL    New Astra, MY2005    1248    D    70.6 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    70.6 SUZUKI    Swift    1248    D    70.6 SUZUKI    Swift    1248    D    70.6 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    70.6 RENAULT    Modus    1461    D    70.6 RENAULT    Mgane Hatchback / Sport Hatchback    1461    D    70.7 RENAULT    Mgane Hatchback / Sport Hatchback    1461    D    70.7 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    998    P    72.4 FORD    Fusion Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion 2004 to 2005 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion Plus Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion Plus Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    998    P    72.4 MERCEDES-BENZ    A-Class (W168) Hatchback    1689    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion 2005 Model Year Onwards    1399    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 FORD    Fusion 2004 to 2005 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    998    P    72.4 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    72.4 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    72.4 FIAT    New Punto (2003)    1248    D    72.4 RENAULT    Mgane Hatchback / Sport Hatchback    1461    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1686    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1686    D    72.4 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    72.4 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Tigra, MY2005    1248    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    72.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    72.4 PEUGEOT    206 SW    1398    D    74.3 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    74.3 TOYOTA    Yaris    1364    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    74.3 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra (T98), MY2005    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra (T98), MY2005    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra (T98), MY2005    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 PEUGEOT    1007    1398    D    74.3 HYUNDAI    Getz    1493    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 FORD    Fiesta 2004 Model Year Onwards    1399    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 CITROEN    C3    1398    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 FIAT    New Punto (2003)    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 CITROEN    C3    1398    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    74.3 SMART    Forfour    1493    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    74.3 FORD    Fiesta 2004 Model Year Onwards    1399    D    74.3 RENAULT    Clio    1461    D    74.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 FIAT    New Panda    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 FORD    Fiesta Pre-2004 Model Year    1399    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2004    1248    D    76.3 CITROEN    C3    1398    D    76.3 RENAULT    Clio    1461    D    76.4 PEUGEOT    206    1398    D    78.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    78.4 VAUXHALL    Corsa, MY2005    1248    D    78.4 AUDI    A2 (Standard, SE & Sport)    1422    D    78.5 AUDI    A2 (Standard, SE & Sport)    1422    D    78.5 CITROEN    C2    1398    D    78.5 VOLKSWAGEN    Lupo    1716    D    78.5 VOLKSWAGEN    Lupo    1422    D    78.5 RENAULT    Clio    1461    D    78.6 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    80.7 VAUXHALL    Astra, MY2004    1686    D    80.7 CITROEN    C1    1398    D    83.1 HONDA    Insight    995    P/ E    94.2
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Will that vehicle pass present crash tests, and can I drive it to work as a normal car? (no to at least one, and I suspect both).

How fast were they driving? Again, experimental one-off "but nobody would ever use a car that only goes 3MPH" cars are interesting but not relevant here.

Great, that gets me 1/20th of the way to work.

Safely?

Well, if it's going to be relevant when we're talking about a transportation device, yeah, it's kind of important.

Would any of those pass USA'n crash tests?
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FORD    New Focus    1560    D    70.6
I sure hope so, considering the Ford dealership just sold me one. Doesn't get 70 mpg, though. I've got 41 without A/C so far, though- that's with the manual transmission and approximately 20% stop-and-go city traffic. With the A/C on, it drops to about 32 mpg.
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That's a big drop with AC. Both my cars have 3.8 liter engines and the difference is no more than 1 mpg. Neither gets 42 mpg and struggle to get 30 on all highway
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I have no idea wha the hp of the Focus is, but the A/C load is much larger fraction in comparison...
I've several GM 3.8L and a Chrysler 3.5L...they do similar, but the 3.5L is in a 300M which is geared more "peppy" so doesn't do quite as well as Mom's LeSabre for mileage, but is <much> more entertaining to drive... :)
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