I used to work on a farm as a teen. A lot of what I did formed my current ideas. I'd be glad to answer any questions people have about the farming industry.

Submitted by lettuceleafer in lobby

Disclaimer I worked on a farm run by 3 older family members. We produced hay, wheat, corn, soybeans, beef and dairy. This farm was in the midwestern US and the average income a year for each person on the farm was around 11 thousand. I have knowledge about pesticides, other farmers including an organic farmer and the auctioning of cattle process. I can also delve into the culture around farming in my area as well.

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throwaway wrote (edited )

What do you think about the anthroposophy and biodynamic farming, and in your perspective, is it important that a biodynamic farmer knows and respects the anthroposophical ideas? I hope you're qualified to answer this question, although it is a little far fetched; it's something I've been thinking about lately.

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lettuceleafer OP wrote

I have never heard of it before but I did find a definition and I can tell you my feeling about it when I read the definition I found. "While it encompasses many of the principles of organic farming, such as the elimination of all chemicals, Biodynamics goes further, requiring close attention to the varied forces of nature influencing the vine. It also emphasizes a closed, self-sustaining ecosystem."

I think self sustaining ecosystems are great but them are super hard to achieve and maintain. I would imagine it would be possible at an incredibly higher cost of food. Its attempted to make the fields self sustaining but there are so many factors at play which makes it challenging.

You would either need to pay someone or have great ability at identifying microscopic organisms. There are hundreds maybe even thousands of organisms in a field adding nitrogen to the field. Most of the time it's a neutral agreement as they help generally help but cause very little problems.

Crop rotations and integrating organisms to reintegrate nitrogen and phosphorous into the soil is very useful. though I think a closed system would still require maintenance due to unpredictable factors such as new pests or weather issues.

I think it sounds 99 percent possible but very hard due to economic costs. Maybe if the wealthy would be interested. But I dont know very much sorry if I misunderstood the concept sorry

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ziq wrote

How do people live on 11 thousand a year in the US?

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lettuceleafer OP wrote

Farmers have lots of skills to reduce costs. Subsidies help, many have gardens to make their own food so they spend much less on food, they dont require many services such as automotive repair, house repair, plumbing and fixing their driveway as they can do it themself. Many farmers have no retirement plan and want to work till they die. So most require very little money to live as their job covers expenses and they are skilled enough to reduce expenses.

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asbestosstar wrote

what if your crops did not grow?

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lettuceleafer OP wrote

You better figure out why they didnt grow as fast as you fucking can. Take for instance recently my dad was telling me how after a week his entire hay crop died. The 3 of them freak out as they have no idea why this happened. They call their seed dealer and the guy that sell them pesticides. None of them have any idea what happened. Then the crops got sent to the two nearest labs that process plants for disease.

What happened was a fungus in the soil that most of the time reproduces asexually produces spores and at some stage in reproduction the new mushrooms eat the roots of the plant and kill it. You cant kill it as you need the fungi for getting nitrogen into the soil naturally.

He talked to everyone that knows anything about plant biology to help him. There were many mixed ideas. There is protection against the fungus but it's incredibly expensive. He ended up finding a breed of hay that grows mature roots quickly. They tilled the ground deep hoping to get fresh dirt not containing spores. They planted these seeds and waited.

Thankfully this crop grew to maturity. But you allways need to be ready to eat some cost due to the sometimes random elements out of your control such as droughts and disease.

I guess the best answer is just do everything in your power to have them grow but also be ready for when things dont work out and you need to eat a large cost

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Just stopping by to say thanks for this, it's been interesting.

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existential1 wrote

How many acres did your family farm manage?

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lettuceleafer OP wrote

I cant remember currently. I was allways more interested in trying to make the animals lives better and fixing tractors. Sorry

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rot wrote

amount of produce per acre? for example how much corn will 1 acre grow?

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lettuceleafer OP wrote

It varies a ton based on temperature, rain and general conditions of the field. Probablly like 150 bushels of field corn per acre.

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