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Here we go again...the newsman says "BOO!"

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Manure management isn't something they covered in business class. MS Project is "handy" for planning and resources. But, does a farmer ever have time to use something like that? The objective look and freedom to shuffle things around and still fit a tight schedule are nice to see. It would fit right in with a resourceful enough farmer, and might even improve crop yields.

 

 

What I think would be a difficult fit would be that farming life is oral, practiced, and taught, not disseminated on a computer for the masses. There's a mix of habits and creativity already. Have computers helped farmers much? Computers and digital technology are treated as separate from farming, like apples and oranges. That's why I ask. I've seen that "round peg vs. a square hole" before when it comes to computers and farming. A gadget can't make it rain.

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I know some farmers are IT aware and log in regularly to check crop prices, and communicate with each other and extension people. I stumbled on a farm related BB years ago and was surprised that the farming community seemed to be getting right into the internet when it first came out. In the winter when it is too cold to work, they could sit at home and chat with other farmers all over the country, shop for seeds, read reports on new tilling systems and fertilizer application rates and all that tech stuff.

 

At least that is the impression I got from a couple accidental exposures to some of their web forums.

 

Larry

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Farmers (or their wives who often do the books) are not much different than the general population today- in fact many use computers more than we do. Often it is others doing it for them (ie- crop consultant working a farm plan, nutritionist running rations, business analysis, watering prediction software for irrigated vegetables and on and on. They have high investment and most see value in direct and indirect use of computers for prediction, record keeping, and analysis of financial and markets.

 

BTW- I did not mean to be harsh towards all these guys landspreading right now- sometimes they may have a good reason-- if a waterline breaks during the night- it will wipe out several days of storage. That is farming- the unplanned is always happening. They just have to plan for the unplanned ;D

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I wondered how well it was networked. They don't grow much locally, and the ethanol for blending locally arrives by rail. Greeley has a new ethanol plant, but the grain still has to arrive from somewhere. Usually western Kansas and Nebraska ships the grain, ethanol, or both.

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I talked to my cousin that has some hog buildings today about spreading manure on top of frozen ground. It is legal if the ground is fairly flat and not too close to homes etc. Maybe someone can rig up something to cruise the Gulf of Mexico harvesting algae to make biodiesel before they die and cause the Dead Zone.

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The other way to deal with the dead zone is to introduce oxygen to the water.

In rivers you can greatly improve oxygenation by simply dumping some concrete rubble in the river to create some rapids. I wonder how large an area would be influenced by an air bubbler buoy.

 

A simple floating buoy that used wave motion to pump air down a tube to create a bubbler like you see in aquariums.

 

To spin off on what cessna was saying another interesting option would be to have a large barge that would go out into that area, allow its hold to flood with the nutrient rich water, add a bit of iron to encourage an algae bloom in the captive water, let it grow till the nutrients are gone, strain out the algae (like a whale does) and return the now low nutrient content water to the sea, move a mile or so and repeat. Meanwhile compress the algae into a compressed prill that could be taken back to a land based processing facility to extract oil an starches, then process the remaining bio mass to oil using thermal depolymerization.

 

Turn your lemons into lemonade!

 

Larry

 

 

 

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