Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Farmer Scapegoat

Perry Beeman with the Des Moines Register should stop disguising himself as a news reporter and come out of the closet as the activist he really is. Once again he has written a story ripping the United States farmer. Des Moines, the city he hails, from built a $4 million nitrate removal facility for their water supply. They remove nitrates and guess what they do with them - put them back in the river! Nearly 41% of the continental United States, including 31 different states, drains into the Gulf of Mexico yet Beeman claims it is the Iowa farmer that is causing the environmental problems at the Gulf. The article actually states that nature has a way of repairing itself but activist Beeman attempts to direct your mind-set in the first two paragraphs. Click here to read the entire article in the Des Moines Register but here is what I am talking about.

07/31/2003 A dead zone off the coast of Louisiana, the result of farm pollution washed down the Mississippi River and other waterways, is half the size scientists expected, a top researcher reported Wednesday.

Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium said two tropical storms stirred the waters, adding oxygen to deep water in large areas that typically wouldn't have much plant and animal life this time of year. The low oxygen kills much of the life and sends some sea creatures packing for other areas, disrupting one of the nation's richest fisheries.

The low oxygen happens as algae, fed by commercial fertilizers and naturally occurring nitrogen, die and decompose. Federal studies have shown Iowa is one of the largest sources of fertilizer that ends up in the gulf.


While farmers are planting buffer strips, implementing conservation tillage and other utilizing erosion management techniques, urbanization is placing concrete at every corner. E-mail the Des Moines Register and tell them Perry Beeman should be employed by the Sierra Club if he is going to continue doing their Public Relations and masquerading them as news pieces. Here is an excellent factsheet on the Mississippi River.


Don’t for a minute

If you believe this whole anti-antibiotic movement is not coming from the vegan and vegetarian socialists, you live in a cloud. This movement is wonderful at pitting the “natural” producers against “conventional”. Natural is an option that the producer and consumer can CHOOSE. Aligning yourself with this anti-animal agriculture movement in any way will eventually benefit Brazilian soybean farmers exclusively. Here is a two part article from the San Jose Mercury that describes what I am talking about. Again, doctors can tell my 5 year old daughter to start treatment with amoxicillen and we will work up to more powerful drugs for her ear infection, but it my fault as a livestock producer that humans are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Click here for part one or part two, but here is excerpt.

At Yolo Land and Cattle near Davis, 600 pairs of cows and calves chew through thousands of pounds of feed as they are raised for beef. Rancher Scott Stone plies the cattle with grass, hay and rice bran, but leaves out one ingredient that has become a mainstay in much of livestock farming -- antibiotics.

Unlike what has become standard practice in meat production, Stone's family ranch never used low doses of the drugs in feed. But until five years ago, they did treat sick animals, and occasionally the entire herd, with drugs commonly used in human medicine, like erythromycin and penicillin. Then Stone decided to start producing ``natural beef'' and dropped the use of antibiotics and other additives such as growth hormone.

``I want to be able to eat what I produce,'' Stone said. ``And the healthier and fresher I can make it, the better I feel about the product I'm producing.''

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