Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture

Fry shortage?

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Wet and cold weather has  damaged potato  crops in Idaho and  in two of Canada’s largest-producing provinces.   Some growers were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage, but growers in Manitoba,  North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain,  forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields.

Demand for this tasty treat has risen internationally, and since the U.S. will have little available for export,  prices could rise substantially and shortages may occur.  Fry makers prefer longer potatoes for use, but this year’s crops are smaller and less convenient to prepare.  Eat up quickly, folks!!

Written by timeforthorns

December 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Market high…

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The Left has been saying for three years that the economy is about to sink into recession.  The democratic presidential candidates all say some version of “Orange Man bad…economy bad…not helping anyone but the rich.”   Yes,  we do have a bad case of overspending,  and too many government employees,  and there are still loads of regulations and rules Trump can dispose of.   But the stock market  just reached  a  record high,  which is proof that many,  many people don’t believe the doom and gloom.   That may be because a large swathe of the public see the impeachment inquiry as a purely political ploy without basis,  and they calculate Trump is tough enough to keep doing what he promised to do and that his continued success will stiffen the backbones of Republicans and cast the Deep State into despondency.   Drive on,  Mr. President!

If you want to know why so many of the available jobs are rather low-paying  service sector  jobs,  thank the government.  But what do you expect when manufacturing is sent overseas,  and you have a president who spent eight years trying to destroy the carbon-based energy sector?

The ugly truth is that too  few Americans  are well-educated enough to perform the high-tech jobs.   We barely speak English and we are lousy at even simple math,  much less rudimentary problem-solving skills.  I am sick of hearing people proclaim how smart and aware young people are today.   They  are not.  Add to that the protests of the activists demanding $15 an hour minimum wage,  and you have many industries looking to automate to avoid being burdened with employees who can’t produce enough to be worth their salaries and benefits. No one ever suspected that cotton production would be fully mechanized,  even after mechanical planters and pickers arrived,  because there was no way to get rid of weeds other than by hand-pulling and hoeing.   But in the late 1930’s a retired Air Corps Colonel,  Price C. McLemore,  devised a method of flame cultivation which used burning fuel to kill weeds without damaging cotton.   The Alabama farmer had  done the  impossible,  and was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal by the Franklin Institute for his invention.

Machines must be maintained,  and sometimes need repair,  but they don’t stage strikes,  or demand days off or extra breaks.   Companies exist to earn money for owners and shareholders by providing goods or services to consumers.  Most people work because they desire the wherewithal to purchase those goods or services.  Progressives believe companies exist to provide workers with jobs, and by extension, the USA exists to employ anyone and everyone who wishes to come here.   One of the problems is that many of those who come here wish only to latch onto the government teat,  and we are far too generous both in welfare assistance and immigration regulations,  few of which we’re currently allowed to enforce.  Wake up,  people!!

Written by timeforthorns

November 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm

China needs soybeans…

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If you’re going to get into a pissing contest with Donald J. Trump,  it might serve you well to be certain you can feed your people and serve your markets  without purchasing  soybeans from the USA.   It might also be useful for you to employ someone able to see that South America is suffering a shortage of the product,  so that even if china can import more from Argentina,  the latter country will likely have to import additional supplies from America.

Goodness,  this international trade stuff is really interconnected and difficult,  ain’t it?

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

August 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Vanilla failure…

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If you bake you already know that vanilla  beans cost  almost as much as gold does now,  so you’re using a lot less of them now than you did a few years ago.   The price is due to a vanilla crop failure in Madagascar,  where 80% of the world’s supply comes from.   Then the island was hit by Cyclone Enawo in March of 2017,  which destroyed many of the vanilla orchids which produce the seed pods,  and this was followed by a major drought.

Because the crop is now so valuable,  it’s a major target of thieves,  and the unstable government will do nothing,  which forces producers to pick too  early,  resulting in lowered quality.   If the producers don’t get their act together,  the use of synthetic vanilla may kill off the natural flavoring.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

April 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Golden rice…

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If you could save half a million destitute children each year from blindness and/or death from Vitamin A deficiency,  would you do it?   I certainly  would.   All you would need to do is encourage the cultivation of golden rice,   which  simply modifies rice to contain beta-carotene,  a necessary nutrient often missing from the diets of the destitute in countries such as Bangladesh,  the Philippines,  and Indonesia.

Yes,  golden rice is a GMO (genetically modified organism),  but it is not toxic and it puts nothing harmful into the environment.   It is being developed by the non-profit International Rice Research Institute,  not by monsanto or any of the other big players in agriculture.    It will be provided patent- and royalty-free to poorer farmers on a non-profit basis, with funding from the Gates Foundation and others.

Yet the non-GMO hysterics are trying to block this valuable,  helpful resource.   You will never convince them that nearly everything they eat is to some extent GMO — cattle producers have practiced selective breeding of bovines in order to obtain the qualities they desired,  whether higher milk production or more muscular cattle.  Flowers are hybridized all the time,  and vegetable plants are carefully produced to thrive in certain climates and conditions or to produce fruits with specific qualities.

I have written to the anti-GMO guys pointing out that objecting to golden rice is in fact anti-human,  which is most certainly is.  My letters and postcards may not change their minds,  but it proves to them that people are watching them and objecting to their positions,  so they can’t claim  honestly that everyone agrees with them.   And it made me feel better!

 

Written by timeforthorns

April 7, 2018 at 9:29 pm

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Nut thieves…

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It used to be that thieves simply hijacked trucks carrying California almonds and walnuts,  but now  they’ve gone  high-tech,  hacking trucking company computers and stealing identities and shipping documents.

Written by timeforthorns

April 15, 2016 at 10:17 am

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Methuselah…

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No,  not the extremely long-lived biblical character,  but a date palm grown from a 2,000 year old seed found decades ago at Israel’s historic mountain fortress of Masada.   It’s growing well and has fertile pollen.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a grove of ancient date palm trees growing?

Written by timeforthorns

April 1, 2015 at 11:14 pm