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Tag Archives: Michael Smith

Breaking Into Agriculture: Episode 2, Small Scale Multi & Monocrop Farming

With the Breaking Into series we will explore US agriculture, the least complex, the most complex, the failures, frustrations, sustainability, costs, and future of each topic that makes up modern agricutlure. On this episode we are going to explore a more complex, yet still small, system of farming for profit, Small Plot Farming. Small Plot Farming in a name can seem inadequate, small, not useful in the bigger picture of global agribusiness, but...

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Breaking Into Agriculture: Episode 1, Market Gardens

With the Breaking Into series we will explore US agriculture, the least complex, the most complex, the failures, frustrations, sustainability, costs, and future of each topic that makes up modern agricutlure. On this episode we are going to explore one of the more simple ways to get into professional agriculture, Market Gardens. Market Gardens by another name are simply backyard gardens where the output is more than the habitants of land can...

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Small Ag Has the Same Issues as Big Ag: Age and Fresh Blood

The average age of the American farmer has been stuck at 57.5 since 2017 and hasn’t seemed to budged into 2021 despite an explosion of new farmer operators choosing to quit their pandemic day jobs and head for the fields to participate in small plot farming and local market vending. Generationally, the unfortunate circumstance with an aging farmer population and high land values equates to what Agricultural Economics Professor Dr. Shannon Ferrell of...

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A Progressive Farm Policy From Conservative Texas Politicians?

Something interesting is happening in Texas. Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller’s office has made a hard push on a marketing campaign for a renewed push for the Farm Fresh Network. Including a new website design. To catch you all up, the Farm Fresh Network was an initiative created by the Ag Commissioners office in 2015 that created an online network of local farms; a database of where, who, and what is being grown there, for the farmers as...

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Sources of Interest

Agricultural news is slim, few and far between and usually relegated to only a few places. Mainstream media doesn’t have an audience for hard ag journalism, and ag journalism mostly preaches to the choir. Two great publications that I typically get information from are Successful Farming and AgWeb –. Both have varying degrees of in-depth coverage and decent reporting. I also subscribe to Successful Farming magazine. Usually, I can find topics...

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The Future of Farming

The world economy is undergoing extreme changes that have been both generational as well as exacerbated by lack of investment, global pandemic and supply chain crunch. Logistical nightmare aside, the generational shift from the prosperity of the Baby Boomer generation in the West as well as the great readjustment in China post Mao and the post-Soviet boom of Russian Millennials have been long coming, but underforecast or appreciated. Turn of the...

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Cattle Report 2nd Quarter ’22, Steady as the Driving Heat

We are firmly into an ENSO phase in the United States that could be regarded as the essence of the word dire. Milestones in Texas the past two weeks from a drought, weather, and a livestock production perspective are coming fast and often. Largely throughout the entire west – it’s hot, dry, and uncomfortable, both from a producer perspective but also as a common person, and more so for livestock out on the range with very little way of seeking...

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Farming With a Tesla

Texas is big. To frame how big, let me contextualize the normal travels for a rural resident in a few touch points that are universal. The closest large city with a decently large grocery store and a Home Depot are 37 miles one way. When running an “errand” it is easy to tack on 100 miles to the odometer in just a few hours. The parents are 42 miles away in the next city “down the highway” as it were. Sister in law 92 miles, brother 121 miles, Tesla...

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The Market Problem, Part 1: Direct to Consumer

In this series we explore marketing farm fresh goods in the litany of different ways as a direct consumer edibles farmer. Many types of farms exist within the framework of directly edible, from market gardens, to 100 acre California avocado fields, dairy barns, hen houses, and multiple large monocrop “people food” producers. Direct to Consumer is exactly what it implies. A farmer seeds, grows, reaps or milks, slaughters and packs food and then...

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May 29th Planted Progress, Caught Up To Averages

The USDA Planted Progress report has just been released today and the progress report now puts 2022 plantings at around the five year averages. Sugar beets are continuing to plant behind average time-frames as Minnesota and North Dakota struggle with weather delays. Per the USDA report, corn, soybeans and other silage are looking about in target. Wheat condition continues to be an issues year over year for the winter crop, but the headings are...

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