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Tag Archives: Michael Smith

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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May 23rd Planted Progress Report

Planters have been running all out over the last few weeks as the envelope to get spring planted before summer heat and drought sets in even further. We will start with what the market was expecting yesterday and the results of the USDA Planted Progress Report as of yesterday. Discussed at length on yesterday’s Go Farm Yourself spaces meeting via Ag Twitter, the hosts, commodity traders, and the listeners, mostly agriculture producers, farmers,...

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Farm & Ranch Quick Market Update

Harvest season has sprung upon us in a hurry. We had to spend a few evenings in the fields collecting squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and even dug up all of the potatoes, among the multitude of other things we planted this spring and continue to plant. It’s been a busy few weeks that have been hard both physically as well as mentally due to market conditions but we will get to that. Current Macro ag is coming in hot. Commodities futures are up...

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Do We Produce Too Much If We Are Making Corn Into Plastic Bottles?

Outside of agriculture there is a feeling of vast quantities, that farmers produce too much corn, soybeans, cotton, and other monocrops in a habitat destroying, bee killing, rural, backward, government sponsored enterprise that is slowly adding to climate change and environmental destruction. Agriculture is largely reactionary and heavily influenced by capitalism. If the need is there, and the price is right, the crop will be produced. One of the...

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First Quarter ’22 Cattle & Ranch Report

Green grass is growing finally down south as some rainfalls are being received east of the Colorado River, not that Colorado River, the other one that moves through Austin, and has very little to do with it’s namesake. Grass growing in the spring brings on the grazing and let’s the ranchers get off the expensive feed. Now is also the time to sow sorghum for the herds to clear in the next few months. Net, net it’s still an expensive business to be...

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Death by Sharpened Pencil

As winter has begun to subside (finally) the real flurry of activity has to happen in short time, as in an every ray of sunshine has to be captured kind of thrust into the growing season. This is also the poorest time you will see farmers as they dump their entire wealth into yet another growing season. I can confirm; we’ve been running for a week straight and have committed the kids toothfairy money to compost, with no end in sight. My son will...

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The Frustration of Government Grants

There has been quite a lot of news over the past few years regarding agriculture specific to governmental assistance, from providing crop subsidies during the Trump Trade War to the Biden Administrations attempt to tamp down inflation via meat processing capacity increases, as well as an attempt to revive a few ideas that had been tabled by previous administrations. The largest focus for the USDA is without a doubt the SNAP food assistance program...

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Bird Flu Worsens, Threatening Food Supply

Bloomberg News reports an outbreak in Kentucky and Virginia after initial outbreak discovered at Indiana facility last week. Avian flu is nothing new, and as we continue to keep large quantities of poultry in ever increasing numbers in concentrated operations around the poultry processors, the occurrences are likely to become more severe and often. This is mostly because commercial poultry operations look like this: The amount of birds grown...

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