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Old 21-11-2016, 06:01 PM   #41
the apprentice
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A hobby farm is a very nice way to spend one's retirement years. There is something relaxing about farm life, when you do not have to depend upon it for an income.
I call this moment in life, food for the mind as well as the body, grow some nice smelling flowers and shrubs and a few quality vedge for keeping the system flushed.

We save quite a few pounds growing our own vedge, we still have a few dozen leeks left out there, and dozens of jars of fruit jelly which livens up the porridge oatmeal in the mornings.

How did the harvest go at your side of the pond this year Woody, do they plough or just a quick harrow and drill the wheat seed in like many other places.

It's hammering down with rain here right now, the river is up, the River Swale is the faster rising river in the UK.
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Old 21-11-2016, 11:55 PM   #42
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I call this moment in life, food for the mind as well as the body, grow some nice smelling flowers and shrubs and a few quality vedge for keeping the system flushed.

We save quite a few pounds growing our own vedge, we still have a few dozen leeks left out there, and dozens of jars of fruit jelly which livens up the porridge oatmeal in the mornings.

How did the harvest go at your side of the pond this year Woody, do they plough or just a quick harrow and drill the wheat seed in like many other places.

It's hammering down with rain here right now, the river is up, the River Swale is the faster rising river in the UK.
It is all done by machine. Very little humans involved on the Commercial farms. They change crops every year. This year the commercial fields north of me were nearly all sugar beets (about 10 square miles) It was harvested in one night. Never saw a thing just heard the Army of Tractors and trailers.

The farms south of me were all corn. this year they raised it to be sent to the ethanol plant to make ethanol to be used in gasahol (80% Ethanol 20% Gasoline) that was all cut level with the ground and carried off in one night. These days a lot of the harvesting is done at night to avoid causing congestion on the farm roads.

Won't be anything happening now until late April when they plow any remaining snow under and prepare for planting in late May. Based on what was planted this year I suspect next year will be either wheat or soybeans.

The fields of wheat this year were mostly west of me extending into South Dakota. But when I saw them plant it was a quick harrow. Because of our short growing season only hardy fast growing crops are planted, Wheat, Rye, oats, Corn (Maize) Soybeans and Sugar beets. As there is only one remaining processing plant for the Sugar beets, planting of them is in a small region.
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Old 22-11-2016, 12:55 PM   #43
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It is all done by machine. Very little humans involved on the Commercial farms. They change crops every year. This year the commercial fields north of me were nearly all sugar beets (about 10 square miles) It was harvested in one night. Never saw a thing just heard the Army of Tractors and trailers.

The farms south of me were all corn. this year they raised it to be sent to the ethanol plant to make ethanol to be used in gasahol (80% Ethanol 20% Gasoline) that was all cut level with the ground and carried off in one night. These days a lot of the harvesting is done at night to avoid causing congestion on the farm roads.

Won't be anything happening now until late April when they plow any remaining snow under and prepare for planting in late May. Based on what was planted this year I suspect next year will be either wheat or soybeans.

The fields of wheat this year were mostly west of me extending into South Dakota. But when I saw them plant it was a quick harrow. Because of our short growing season only hardy fast growing crops are planted, Wheat, Rye, oats, Corn (Maize) Soybeans and Sugar beets. As there is only one remaining processing plant for the Sugar beets, planting of them is in a small region.
Thanks Woody, what would you say is the difference in weeks from where you are to the southern plains each growing season, and how many weeks window do you have before you miss out on a crop.

We have been keen gardeners the last thirty years and we have noticed the growing seasons on the whole have got smaller over that period, last year we had real trouble getting things to germinate without extra under heating them, we lost nine large trays of seedlings due to the very cold spring, if a farmer had this it would be his entire crop gone.

If you look at the global wheat belt that runs around the entire Northern hemisphere, where the global bulk is situated, this is where the last ice sheets reached a good ways into, the planet would have a real hard time feeding the other 65 countries where it's a lot harder to grow the amounts needed to feed their growing populations.

Then we have the speculators, and the bio fuel criminals that are creating food shortages, it takes I'm told 27 hectares of corn to produce enough ethanol to fill an average SUV, doesn't sound viable does it.

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Old 28-11-2016, 05:50 PM   #44
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Thanks Woody, what would you say is the difference in weeks from where you are to the southern plains each growing season, and how many weeks window do you have before you miss out on a crop.

We have been keen gardeners the last thirty years and we have noticed the growing seasons on the whole have got smaller over that period, last year we had real trouble getting things to germinate without extra under heating them, we lost nine large trays of seedlings due to the very cold spring, if a farmer had this it would be his entire crop gone.

If you look at the global wheat belt that runs around the entire Northern hemisphere, where the global bulk is situated, this is where the last ice sheets reached a good ways into, the planet would have a real hard time feeding the other 65 countries where it's a lot harder to grow the amounts needed to feed their growing populations.

Then we have the speculators, and the bio fuel criminals that are creating food shortages, it takes I'm told 27 hectares of corn to produce enough ethanol to fill an average SUV, doesn't sound viable does it.
The window for planting is very narrow. Only about a week. Partially because the Planting is done by migratory workers that will only be in the area a few days before moving to the next state.

This may explain a little

https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm...ackground.aspx

As for the amount of corn required to make ethanol I do not know. The chaff of nearly every farm crop can be used. The farmers here prefer to sell corn(maize) to the ethanol plants as it is easier to harvest as the entire plant is cut and harvested whole with no need to pick the ears

The local ethanol plants are producing a very large amount. There are currently 20 ethanol plants producing in MN and have a production capacity of 1 billion gallons anually. State laws requires that all gasoline sold in MN contain a minimum of 10% ethanol Goal is for MN, North Dakota and South Dakota to become gasoline free and all vehicles burning 100% ethanol. Because of the lower price nearly everybody I know use gasoline that is 35% ethanol

https://www.mda.state.mn.us/renewable/ethanol.aspx

On the Map in the link I am about 30 miles from the Morris plant.

According to google one bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol. An acre of corn averages 328 bushels of corn. But the figures are a bit misleading as for Ethanol production the entire plant is used. Greatly reducing harvesting cost and increasing ethanol production per acre.

There are conflicting reports as to if producing ethanol is cost effective

http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/...stionID=001261

All I know is there are 20 huge ethanol plants near me each making healthy profits.
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Old 30-12-2016, 02:57 PM   #45
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I have now completed 2 full months here and believe I have survived. I do find the wide range of opinions to be thought provoking and interesting reading.

I am most impressed that the majority have the ability to disagree peacefully, without malice or anger.
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Old 30-12-2016, 06:09 PM   #46
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The window for planting is very narrow. Only about a week. Partially because the Planting is done by migratory workers that will only be in the area a few days before moving to the next state.

This may explain a little

https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm...ackground.aspx

As for the amount of corn required to make ethanol I do not know. The chaff of nearly every farm crop can be used. The farmers here prefer to sell corn(maize) to the ethanol plants as it is easier to harvest as the entire plant is cut and harvested whole with no need to pick the ears

The local ethanol plants are producing a very large amount. There are currently 20 ethanol plants producing in MN and have a production capacity of 1 billion gallons anually. State laws requires that all gasoline sold in MN contain a minimum of 10% ethanol Goal is for MN, North Dakota and South Dakota to become gasoline free and all vehicles burning 100% ethanol. Because of the lower price nearly everybody I know use gasoline that is 35% ethanol

https://www.mda.state.mn.us/renewable/ethanol.aspx

On the Map in the link I am about 30 miles from the Morris plant.

According to google one bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol. An acre of corn averages 328 bushels of corn. But the figures are a bit misleading as for Ethanol production the entire plant is used. Greatly reducing harvesting cost and increasing ethanol production per acre.

There are conflicting reports as to if producing ethanol is cost effective

http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/...stionID=001261

All I know is there are 20 huge ethanol plants near me each making healthy profits.
I used to be a vehicle tech before I joined the armed forces and after for a few more years and one thing sticks in the mind, and that is what these higher octane bio subsidised fuels do to an engine, a modern one. The ethanol content ruins the piston rings and burns so hot it dries out the film coating of oil after the engine comes to rest.

In other words it burns them out way before the 100 k limit which most tiny sub litre cars used to surpass with ease, not any more.

I know older guys who worked on the first big oil fields and they all say most wells were drilled to service depth within 90 days and there are hundreds of well heads capped across the globe yet to be tapped, there is oil enough to last hundreds of years into the future, yet they insist of growing food for fuel, this is sheer greed and lunacy when thousands are dieing due to hunger and not being able to afford to buy food.

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Old 30-12-2016, 09:00 PM   #47
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I used to be a vehicle tech before I joined the armed forces and after for a few more years and one thing sticks in the mind, and that is what these higher octane bio subsidised fuels do to an engine, a modern one. The ethanol content ruins the piston rings and burns so hot it dries out the film coating of oil after the engine comes to rest.

In other words it burns them out way before the 100 k limit which most tiny sub litre cars used to surpass with ease, not any more.


I know older guys who worked on the first big oil fields and they all say most wells were drilled to service depth within 90 days and there are hundreds of well heads capped across the globe yet to be tapped, there is oil enough to last hundreds of years into the future, yet they insist of growing food for fuel, this is sheer greed and lunacy when thousands are dieing due to hunger and not being able to afford to buy food.
thats why. to sell more cars.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:38 PM   #48
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thats why. to sell more cars.
Looks very much the case, the norm for engine size today has dropped from the trusty two litre to the 1500 turbo.
Many current mechanics are also telling me that the newer cars are becoming less reliable, they are not yet back to their pre seventies abortions like the old XR3 or Fiat Uno, but heading that way it seems.

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Old 31-12-2016, 11:28 PM   #49
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I used to be a vehicle tech before I joined the armed forces and after for a few more years and one thing sticks in the mind, and that is what these higher octane bio subsidised fuels do to an engine, a modern one. The ethanol content ruins the piston rings and burns so hot it dries out the film coating of oil after the engine comes to rest.

In other words it burns them out way before the 100 k limit which most tiny sub litre cars used to surpass with ease, not any more.

I know older guys who worked on the first big oil fields and they all say most wells were drilled to service depth within 90 days and there are hundreds of well heads capped across the globe yet to be tapped, there is oil enough to last hundreds of years into the future, yet they insist of growing food for fuel, this is sheer greed and lunacy when thousands are dieing due to hunger and not being able to afford to buy food.
Several points I do agree upon.I agree it is pure greed that drives some to raise corn for ethanol. The ethanol plants pay more for corn than the food processors pay. I am quite certain that anything above 50% ethanol will burn out many engines before they reach 100K. but on the other hand. I burned 35% ethanol for at least 10 years and the only difference I saw between it and regular gasoline is the lower price. However since moving to Minnesota all I can find is E-10 (10% ethanol) It is currently selling for $2.17 per Gallon in my area, Which is below the national average of $2.33 for non-ethanol regular gasoline. As best as I can tell is it is illegal to sell gasoline that is less than 10% Ethanol in North Dakota and Minnesota.
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