frosted flakes triple whammy
High cost of diesel hitting hard at farm industry
FRESNO -- The farmers who grow many of the fresh fruit and vegetables for the nation's dinner tables say the rising cost of oil is making this one of their toughest planting seasons yet -- and might shove some of them out of business.
(F)armers are the ones caught in a "three-way whammy," said Keith Nilmeier, who just finished harvesting his 185 acres of oranges outside Fresno. Farmers are squeezed by higher prices for the diesel that runs their harvesting and irrigation equipment, for the fertilizer made by combining nitrogen with the hydrogen in natural gas, and for the transportation of crops to your local supermarket.
A succinct description of the dilemma a modern day farmer finds himself in.
Farmers being shoved out of business is no good. Their land will be either bought up and replaced with condos and exurbs, or farmed by corporations. Their expertise will be lost, just when it is most needed.
I do have a suggestion - get a horse. Long considered too much of a bother, their ability to fertilize fields and directly convert all available biomass into useful energy will prove without equal in an era of suddenly and irreversibly expensive energy.
"When no amount of tinkering, kicking, or cursing would revive the engine, the humiliating trip to the nearest farm would have to take place. The farmer would probably be glad to add to the driver's mental anguish by making remarks about "them new-fangled contraptions," but with some degree of stability, he would harness his team and hitch it to the front of the horseless carriage. "