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Charles P. Reinert, Ph.D. Dept. of Chemistry/Physics at Southwest Minnesota State College in Marshall, discusses agriculture and energy. Dr. Reinert was a member of the Governor's Energy Policy Task Force for the State of Minnesota.

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At present producing food requires only a small percentage of the total energy this country expands and awareness of the energy crisis has prompted a review of our energy priorities.How are vital agricultural sector can best use available energy supplies concerns? Dr. Charles rinard of the southwest Minnesota State College physics department. Dr. Rinard was a member of the governor's energy policy task force for the state of Minnesota in a recent conversation. Dr. Rinard spoke about energy and agriculture looking at all of the sources that I have found to date. I think you can probably count see the major studies on energy on the fingers of one hand and you probably won't count and very much higher than about three study was done by Mike Pearlman out of the University of California Chico. That's about to two years old. I think I said he had also came out of Cornell by the mental and Associates. I think that was published in science in about November of 1973 or thereabouts.There are about perhaps one or two more studies. So whose names I don't recall, but that's just about the sum total of it as matter fact just before I came down to for the interview. I was talking to a dr. Klepper down at Washington University in St. Louis not heard in a roundabout fashion that Barry commoner's group at Washington University had received and then S Grant NSF Grant NSF being a National Science Foundation act right for looking at the whole energy picture in agriculture. And in fact, they had their into it about 6 months or so now but apparently one of the things that made it somewhat easier for commoners group to get the money for the work is that they had heard that NSF was really having a bad time of it from Congress just because so little was known on the use of energy lighter culture. So I have about 2 years ago. It was really nothing. No and I think on energy and agricultureVery very little so now that I think the work is beginning to be done. But still the data is to use a little bit scanty as far as I'm concerned. The interesting aspect, of course about energy and agriculture is that if you're worried about the total use of energy it may be that agriculture is is not the first place that you might start looking to think about making Cuts one of the first things that you find is that see the total amount of energy used in agriculture and per se is something like I think about 3% of the total National use of energy. So it's not like 50% If you begin to take a detailed look at the numbers you find that apparently the Energy Efficiency has been dropping steadily that were using more energy in general and Agriculture and getting less out compared to what we put in and that's not a very good Trend. I suspect is happening in other phases of Industry as well. But in these days of I think Warrenton concerned about energy use, I think it's worth while taking a careful look at what data is available. What what perhaps can be done? One of the things I think that the farmers need to be concerned about as far as energy you was just concerned is perhaps well, perhaps one are they going to have the energy that they need? Of course, we almost all problems about a year-and-a-half ago with the lack of energy for crop drying and fall luckily enough was nice warm fall nature collaborated and we didn't have too many problems, but it could have been acting very bad. The other aspect I think is is not only the availability. But of course the price of energy, I think it behooves a farmer to know as well as he can which of the inputs to his farming operation are very energy-intensive so that he will know which of those inputs is most likely to go up and cost or at least by the biggest Factor. So I think I have to Be watchful of what the inputs are and to expect some price increases in some areas. And of course many of these have already occurred would you say then as perhaps the greatest input into most Farmers economic considerations would be the cost of nitrogen. Well, if you take a look at the data and pimento brought this out very nicely it looks as though if you compare the the energy inputs saying 1945 just after the war to the energy input sensor 1970 there been about four major increases one has been for crop drying a few were farmers for example are storing there corn in and around cribs and more of them are using to pick her shower. And of course when you do that and you you almost have to use a crop drying techniques, of course, the use of electricity is also gone up rather substantial courses made farming the whole lot more comfortable because of it using nitrogen is gone up of course tremendously. The I think the consumption in about 1945 was was almost Neil and this is risen now to about a hundred and twelve pounds per acre for corn production in 1970. And on top of that there has been some increase in the energy used in Machinery both in gasoline. And of course in the energy that goes into the actual construction itself. So I think those four areas crop drying electricity nitrogen and Machinery are probably the major areas where there has been up a fairly sizable input of energy in the last 25 years or so, and I think In fairness those are going to be the areas that are going to increase the most in price. We've already seen a substantial increase in the price of nitrogen and the price of Machinery MSP a car says pushing for increases in the price of electricity and fuel Island course is going up for crop drying as well. There's some thoughts now course about using solar energy for cop trying and I think that's a very promising possibility to to look into It's interesting that these costs have gone up. And the thing that intrigues me is the relationship between the amount of energy that's used and the amount of energy that is produced in the crop. Yeah, that's very interesting that the mental again did some work on this as did Perlman and they reached I think somewhat different conclusions and I'm not yet sure that I understand the difference between their conclusions perelman was it I think the first one or one of the first people to take a careful look at what your get compared to what you pay for as far as soon as she is concerned and looking at the overall energy inputs and outputs of agriculture agriculture as a hole in this country found that for every unit of energy to get out sample kilocalorie of of food energy that you put in something like five kilocalorie. So you have a 5 to 1 energy diseconomy in the production steinhart to in his book energy sources used in role in human Affairs, which I'm using as a text from my own energy course finds something very similar in general mental just took a look at the energy. Outputs for corn and just based on that particular crop found that you do get about twice as much energy out as you put in for corn by itself, including Machinery fertilizer a fuel and and all the rest. He did fine. However that in 1945 we were getting nearly three times the energy out that we put in for corn and a 1970 this a dropped to almost to so again, you you see a kind of point of diminishing returns. I think some authors have argued that we're not likely to push the efficiency of a corn production much higher that were sooner or later and perhaps rather soon going to bump into the limits of photosynthesis photosynthesis and have expressed hitting some grave doubts that we'll be able to really redesign that process to make it much more efficient than it is. So why you look Society the output or watch you get what you pay for compared to what you get expose has gotten worse in the last 25 years again, I think as it has for many other Industries. And essentially the reason for this being that just in the form of nitrogen and the additional fuels that are being used the input has increased in relationship to the output. That's correct. I think of course one of the most efficient ways to utilize energy seems to be the freedom and and if one takes a look at the Chinese white rice agriculture is Perlman has pointed out their return for each invested unit of energy seems to be about fifty to one for every unit of human energy kilocalories that are put into the system. They extract about 50. So part of the difference I think is come from a reduction in the amount of hand labor of human labor in a farming operation. And I think part of it is also come from from beginning to reach the point of diminishing returns as far as the application of nitrogen application. Farm machinery are concerned this raises some interesting questions for many years. It's probably been the goal of the number of people to free themselves from the drudgery of hand labor and certainly Farmers have benefited from putting Machinery to use over the past 30 years and how what kinds of problems this is going to present in trying to persuade people that. They're going to have to go perhaps going to have to go back to more toil with their hands again in their agricultural operations. Yeah, I sent the the the problems there. And I think one has to admit that whether you talk about agriculture or any other aspect of human life at least up to a certain point you seem to be far better off at least from a standard of living approach and perhaps from a quality-of-life approach you seem to be far better off by increasing your energy consumption at least beyond that point. Then what happens to the quality of life at the standard living seems to continue to increase the way that I would perhaps try to answer that is to say I frankly don't want to go back to picking corn by hand anymore than anyone else does and that maybe if we look in some directions for a specific economy. I think we can find some without having to go back to the drudgery that I think every farmer was involved in say twenty-five or thirty years ago. I remember the the corn picking my hand mice. A lot of small at the time and it was a lot of hard work and I don't think we could really push anybody back in that direction except under the most dire circumstances and I guess I really wouldn't want to what are some what are some of these areas that you've looked at and feel that could be cut back in. Okay again, most of what I say is is repetition of what other people have found. We haven't done any original research here on either cultural energy. Basically what the mental has suggested is that there may be two or three areas where one might gain One area course is in the use of nitrogen and they suggest the alternative of number one Maneuvers and I think perhaps that menorahs are already being used fairly efficiently in Minnesota, but evidently not in the country as a whole the large feedlot operations say in the Colorado area. I suspect waste much more mature than ever comes back on the lam. I've been basically pimento has suggested that manure speed utilize more efficiently and is also suggested that the planning of legumes be reinstituted to cut down on the need for nitrogen. Now, he's gone to the numbers for this and what he finds in fact is that the use of a Norris is slightly less energy-intensive and the use of a commercial nitrogen when you in foods are the necessary energy cost for hauling an out to the field. And in that sort of thing it comes out slightly better I supposed to figure is about 10% better or thereabouts. He doesn't course finds that the use of legumes for nitrogen incorporation is substantially more efficient, at least from an energy standpoint. It seems to me that that is perhaps 10 to 1 or thereabouts is practically no energy involved in planting the legume and subsequently, of course, you do have to have the power but that energy input seems to be fairly small Force against that you have to balance the fact that people don't yet eat much Alfalfa and so you have to worry I think about the poodle Crop Production particularly in these days. We're and we seem to have gone almost immediately from an energy crisis to crisis. So I'm not quite sure just what would happen in the way of going back to a crop rotation with pimento suggest and specifically of trying to go I go back to legumes what she also suggest it may be that some interceding or interplanting techniques may be a value and talking to a farmer in central Minnesota. He mentioned that in the past they had interplanted such crops is Sweet Clover and Alfalfa right in with the corn when the corn was high enough to get a good start then they would come along with the seating of Alfalfa and they did manage to grow the to crop simultaneously and then for Incorporated nitrogen safe for the following Year's crop. Of course, if you have substantial use of herbicides, then this kind of killed that possibility to office very sensitive to herbicides. So I think there are some problems that have to be worked out there, but I think one can push the use of nitrogen down by rotation techniques legumes and manure You're suggesting in other words, I move away from more specialized farming and back to more variety in the crops planted and maintaining livestock perhaps in cases where a farmer has not had any livestock. He's stuck pretty much with the planting a particular crop or maybe two crops. I guess my my feeling tends to be that a push back in that direction would be less energy-intensive. I don't know that I could nail those numbers down, but that's my feeling. I think there are some benefits that begin to come in and such an operation. I was trying to find this morning. The reprint of a paper that is come out of the ARs jaeger-lecoultre research station at Morris and I saw a manic out of this in the newspaper last two about last spring. I think concerning some studies that were done with manure applications to the corn plots. What was found it very interesting and of course it did seem to Aid the crafts but more than that. It'll probably also made the tillage of the crops easier it made the plowing he's here and the other interesting things that happened with Uber application for some reason which this particular scientist did not understand it also reduce the weed problem. So in the back of my mind, I guess I have the suspicion that if we would begin to push things a bit more in the direction of have what I would want to call more careful husbandry and Branch being a somewhat better Stewart of the soil. We might find side benefits such as for example, somebody easier tillers of the soil such as for example problem. I think that a lot of the Agricultural research in this stage. In other states is his kind of tended to to leave weed control to the herbicides as kind of tends to leave nitrogen incorporation to synthetic nitrogen because it was very cheap for a long time. And therefore course, they saw no reason to do work on it. Now. I think they may have to change their priorities and begin to do work on incorporation of nitrogen with legumes. Perhaps hunt for more efficient soil bacteria to do the job and in general to look more carefully at the whole energy picture. This is perhaps then also eliminating a fairly significant cost for the farmer. If you're talking about cutting back on certain inputs such as pesticides and herbicides. Well, I think so, right. There is of course a class of farmers who can call themselves organic farmers who essentially don't use any herbicides and you was very little artificial fertilizer and these people seem to be getting along. I don't know whether they're making as much money as the traditional farmer Farmer or not. I think our lower their outputs they claim are comfortable. Frankly. I don't know. I think this is one of the questions also than commoners group is is going to look into now in the next year or so. I think this is vital the main objection to this type of farming has been over the past few years. I think that a fear that yields would decrease without the technological tools and I have also talked to some of these Farmers you're talking about and they indicate that their yields are after Initial three to five-year period their yields return to where they were before they let left off with using the chemicals. Yeah, that's what they seem to tell me. I am not an organic farmer myself and I don't have a small farm but that's the sort of things that people say and I guess I I look forward to, there's work to to see whether in fact it's really happens. There's been a little bit of work by the university and and other agencies throughout the country on this aspect, but I'm afraid I must argue that some of it is pretty poor and look forward to to some really good work on it, but they certainly seem to argue with any right to the week problems are no worse that their gills are comfortable leaving argue that there Animal Health is better and perhaps there may be some side benefits that that we've overlooked as I mentioned in this work at Morris this particular song. I just found it as weed problem disappeared only by incorporating manure and a Cylon. That would be the last thing that I would ordinarily expect but it did happen. I think another consideration is the food value number these people who work with the low energy input type of farming suggest that the protein content of their crops is Comfortably higher than other Farmers product and I don't think this has been substantiated though. No, I frankly don't know of any any work that's been done. That that indicates that didn't want is very much higher than the other. I haven't seen very much. Welcome back I do and I have one reference which comes out of them and I was going too well to mention this today. Basically the article from chemistry describes General survey article entitled return to organic farming and it describes in particular study which was done and England conducted in England as it says over the past 35 years. I think it began in about 1938. It's called the holy experiment and basically they set up three types of farms organic section on which animals were raised a mixed section with animals in the midsection without animals, which they call the stock section and basically treated one of them in a kind of fully organic that way using apparently a minimum of any kind of Chemical additions and with an emphasis on maneuvers and such things the other one of the other plots was a strictly chemical approach and apparently the third one was a kind of control and basically what they found over the 38th 35 years and I'm quoting from the section cows and each section were fed the crops growing on their own respective section. So this is this is an interesting aspect. In fact of this this whole research picture on organic farming the organic farmers get upset if he looks at the yield from the field and turn the bushels per acre and if you don't go to the next step and actually feed the yield to the livestock to see what the food value really is it Anyway according to this article. I gave more milk on 10 to 15 to 10 to 15% less feed them cows in the midsection. Genetic differences were ruled out excetera and it seems to be a substantiate it then by the controls on the pot. They also mentioned something. I didn't mean to dwell on the issues here, but it says that the organic farms want me more easily worked amounts of gasoline with the tractor is consumed in following were almost half of those needed for stock was feels and I think this correlates with again many reports that I've had from students of farmers from Farmers themselves who talked about the the land of their neighbors become become a gradual like more difficult to follow year after year and this seems to be occurring but occasionally, you'll find a student whose father uses lots of Menorah and he says, well, what do we really don't have any problems like that are so I was always easier to plow. So there may be some side benefits from the use of animal in the worst witch witch come in in the way of energy which can be an introduction of soil erosion, which I think was also found Morris at least as I recall. And then in in terms of the amount of of energy that has to be used to till the fields. So you're saying that using more manure creates an environment that is better for the bacteria that are working in the soil perhaps and would make plowing easier and I also require less fuel for the tractors. It seems at least to make plowing easier into require less fuel know exactly what it does on a microbiological Avalon. I'm not really sure. Of course, they either knew or does Furniture easily as some of the bowl food for for bacterial. I'm not a microbiologist and don't really know but that's my understanding that it's a very easy for their digestion. it does seem to add to their activity and some way I'd like to mention one other aspect to the reason that I suppose, I originally became interested in the energy used in society in general and agriculture in particular course is partly because of my background as a physicist physicist supposed to know all about energy and they thought they did until the energy crisis came in they found they didn't really know how much of anything but basically I was a member for about a year on an energy policy task force for the state of Minnesota and we spent I think some 40 meetings in hundreds of hours really looking at the total use of energy is production its use of the prices at cetera in the state and we made some recommendations as a consequence on energy use and transportation and the home and such things which I don't think I would like to go into not now, but we also made some comments on energy use in agriculture in did suggest such things that used to be numerous and rotation and such things out of that discussion at would subsequently lamp LED them to discussion with the Agricultural University of Minnesota and some very interesting energy figures which I might just quote for you here. If one looks at the production of farm crops totally in terms of their energy value. It's kind of interesting to see just how the land lays were talking now. It's something about carbohydrates and not about protein. Of course you need both. But if one talks about strictly carbohydrates turns out that if you consider say the four major crops or four major crops with a raised in in Minnesota say we eat Alfalfa corn and soybeans the crop which comes out on top in terms of net energy yield per acre turned out to be off Alpha. Alfalfa course does not ordinarily require any nitrogen incorporation at all and makes its own nitrogen. And in fact, it also produces nitrogen consequently adjusted. Well wheat will give you a return and only about two and a half million kilocalories per acre corn give you something like 4.8 million kilocalories per acre. Alfalfa comes in around 5.6 million kilocalories per acre, nothing more than energy production in the course carbohydrates are going maybe people began to learn to and thinks I'm working package is going on in that direction. Would you say then there might be some research done working with Alfalfa to make it into a form that would be more palatable or would this guy seemed so much energy that it would make up the the advantages that might possibly be gained. Well, as you always have some goods and bads no matter what you do, and I think we'll just have to wait. Santa comes out but right now in Alfalfa looks like a a really good crop to raise as far as as carbohydrates are concerned whether you can talk people into eating of course and make sure that they get the proper balance of amino acids is another question but strictly from the energy point of uff is really rather good have you yourself tried to eating Alfalfa seeds or something like that at that conference, but that's about as far as I've gone to in looking at the energy inputs into the cost of raising crops how we have to take labor into account to perhaps there's more involved to it than just the work that the farmer himself puts in. What are the what are the things that I think God? I boast about occasionally goes to the is what they call it a terribly high efficiency of the American Family farmer and I'm not quite sure exactly how this is calculated but I suppose it's something like dividing the total number of people in the country by the total number of farmers. And if you do that, I think you got to figure this out of the order of perhaps 50 to 1 and consequently is something to the effect that one farmer produces enough to eat at feed 50 people. Well, that's true in the same way as saying that the chairman of the board of General Motors produces enough cars to to take care of the needs of some pretty million people in other words. I think you have to talk not about one man who may be out there on the farm actually doing the work, but you also have to talk about a great many people who are helping him do his work where they are constructing the tractor. They're hauling him fuel. They aren't say processing the few actually produce manufacturing as fertilizer manufacturing. These are all people who are intimately involved in the whole production process whether or not they ever set foot on a farm and I think if you include those types of people, it may come down closer to perhaps one farmer producing enough food for perhaps 10 or 15 people would certainly not 50. It's 50 of consider. Only the people call basis. I think that's that's not the right way to think about it. Of course you if they talk about the product productivity in terms of Energy Efficiency, then of course that has been decreasing as I mentioned from something like three to one for corn to something like 2 to 1 and apparently be considered agriculture in general then it goes the opposite way and you have a real dissing cut this economy or food production. So I think we have to be somewhat careful when we talked about the overall efficiency of the family farmer. I suppose the other thing that bothers me when people talk about that. It's just that I'm tempted to say well maybe that's true. But what that means to me is that I have to buy my supplies as decrease in population as a consequence. So I would argue that perhaps my quality of life is gone down just because there aren't as many farmers around as many people on Hawaiian to to keep up the small towns. That's another issue I think but deserve some looking at That that does raise an interesting question. And that is do you foresee a trend toward and out migration from urban areas back to rural areas again and perhaps a more human labor-intensive form of farming. Well, if I had to bet One Direction of the other I suppose I might got the five or ten dollars that that might happen right as matter fact. I'm going home last night. I happened to hear an excerpt from the speech of I think it was dr. Philip route for the University. I didn't hear the first part of it. So I'm not sure I didn't write one of the comments that this person was making wise concerning the tremendous investment now, which is necessary to operate what is called a family farm something of the order of Bose 300 to 500 to 600 acres. And you made the comment that even under the best financial conditions with with reasonable interest rates and very good luck. No grasshoppers. No play. No nothing like that starting up in farming just could not make it the interest alone would be enough to have took the kill you almost you're talkin of the order. I suppose if somewhere near a half a million dollars investment for two people starting out to try to make their living from farming. He was suggesting some restructuring of the of the tax rates and the whole process of transferring a firearm from father to son, but it may be the cost of Farmland by itself will have some, Tennessee. Maybe two to begin to break up the large Farms into smaller ones, or maybe it'll go the other way and I will find that the only operators of farms will tend to be shallow oil and Dow Chemical in them. The larger corporations who then presumably would have the capital to do the job some other things are happening in the Canada. I was up in Winnipeg couple months ago and talked to some of the Department of Agriculture people there and they have some very interesting programs. I think one program involves making it easier for a farmer to continue operating his land even if he doesn't seem to know how if I were just doesn't seem to be making a go on his land perhaps because he's not using the proper techniques. He can then have the option of selling his farm to the government. They will then come in and let him rent the farm and bringing all kinds of technical experts hopefully to help him to do a better job of farming and then at some later point if he wants to buy the farm back again, this is made possible that somehow I have the feeling that perhaps the state government or perhaps the federal government should should try to push this whole effort of of keeping people on to the Farms. I think it's pretty clear. We don't need them in the cities. We have plenty there. I think we have a real scarcity out here. I also have the feeling frankly that if we had smaller Farms we might see some more careful husbandry of the soil. I haven't lived in Southwestern Minnesota for essentially all of my life. Of course. I am probably you are well familiar with C siltation in the lakes and the fact that the one does see a lot of dirty snow in the winter time just because of the Fall plowing and once he's in general it seems to me I kind of lack of of care for the soil and we consider that the whole Nations health and its its well-being and its very existence really go back to the topsoil. Maybe we would do well to to try to err on the side of being too careful with the soil rather than being careful enough and for me anyway to a great extent this goes back to of course number one education, but goes back also perhaps a smaller Farms. I do not see how one man and carefully managed say a thousand acres and do a really good job on it. To be a really good husbandman of the soil act. I guess I don't understand how that can happen. And I really don't think it is happening. Would you say then that you believe that a family farm in a family farm situation the person operating the farm is going to take better care of the soil then say in a corporate situation. I would definitely think so, right. I think this is I guess I don't know whether I could point to a lot of studies that say this but somehow I feel this be the case, right? Again, and it goes back to an individual farmer taking the time to climb down off his tractor if need be pick up a rock and put it in his rock collector. Whereas I'm afraid if if an employee of a large corporation, we're responsible for the operation that rock might just end up going right to the combine that fall somehow I feel that if a man has his own control of his own land had has sufficient land to make a good living but not so much that he can't take good care of it that I think you'll take better care of an employee. This is my feeling and I have a feeling that many other people feel this way, too. in the past the United States has proudly pointed to its method of farming when talking to developing countries and his said hey, we're going to help you out and you can produce enough food to feed your people. If you do things the way we're doing them will give you the technology. Now there have been second thoughts about this. That's right again going back to the study of mental and co-workers and science. They made a very simple calculation of this. And basically asked the question if we used what is now called Green Revolution agriculture, which I guess I interpret as basically the type of Agriculture we have in the southwestern Minnesota is this type of Agriculture were used to feed all of the people of the world a minimum calorie diet and I think the figure they were talking about it was roughly 2,000 the prep 2500 calories per day. and if all of the petroleum resources of the world were used To furnish the necessary fuel for this type of agriculture. Then according to their calculations the entire world petroleum resources would last something like 24 years that means to me that that we simply can't begin to try to feed the world and the world cannot begin to try to feed itself with a type of Green Revolution agriculture then has been so well developed in this country. And apparently it simply will not work unless we somehow find a very abundant and very cheap source of energy and I'm not quite sure where that's going to come from. So I frankly I am beginning to have more and more respect for the people of communist China PRC who seem to be able to feed themselves. They seem to be highly efficient. As far as the energy that the food energy production is concerned. Of course, it's mostly with hand labor and we might want might not want to go back to that but they are not starving and there seem to be doing a good job with caring for their people Professor on are you seem to look favorably upon those farmers who are using the so-called low energy input methods of farming. What would you tell a farmer who has questions about the methods that he is using his farming right now who might have doubts about the amount of energy that he is putting into his farming operation. I guess that I would Number one want to sit him down and give him a feeling for the energy inputs into the operation. And again, of course, they that come in and crop drying electricity nitrogen in Machinery by large if he wants to learn some other alternative techniques, which may in the long run be beneficial. I think we're not quite sure whether they will be or not. I will learn a good deal from commoners work when it's finished in about 2 years. But if he's interested then the answer becomes really the answer boils down to the fact that it's not all that easy to learn how to farm with low inputs. Just ask for that matter. It was not all that easy to learn how to farm using the techniques that that he may be using now agriculture is a fairly complicated business. There is a course of an organization which we've set up in Southwestern Minnesota, which is attempting to educate Farmers as much as possible so that if they want to make a decision to go with other Alternatives, at least they will know how to do this. There are not any books on the subject. Although one farmer in Iowa is now trying to have to get one together. I would buy a large it comes down and think to matter they're having to learn from each other to learn from other people who made a success of this University as far as I know has nothing on a material on that aspect. There may be a few experiments stations across the country particularly in the northeastern part of the country, which may have some information but by and large it comes down I think to understanding what's going on in the soil and understanding what happens when you plow a field or when you chisel plow a field of really knowing what's going on in terms of water absorption and circulation of the necessary oxygen and set around But I guess I do not feel that right now they can get this information from the county agent because the county agent gets his information from the University and the university has really not done very much work at this sort what they have done. I guess I feel as it's not really very good. So I think it's a matter of perhaps searching out other farmers who been able to make a go of it and learning about their techniques. There are I think a few books that one might perhaps start with i course. It's going up on a farm and have some Farm background perhaps some Farm highlights, but I got a good deal out of a small book was published way back in the 30s by Ed Faulkner and the name of it is pollen. Finally. It discusses the whole concept of the moldboard plow Faulkner had some extreme misgivings about the moldboard plow didn't like it very much at all for moisture absorption reasons and for decay of organic matter reasons, and I personally learn a great deal from that book. I think there are a few others around but it it may well come down to getting in touch with farmers who are are using these techniques and then that the guy can make his own decision whether he wants to go in that direction try it at least with some feels are or what he wants to do, but I somehow feel that if if your agriculture is based on number one high inputs and in addition to your high outputs that as cost keep going up and every other sector of the economy, they're going to go up at least as fast in agriculture and it's not clear that whenever games then by having high prices on in the marketplace for selling the grain if your input costs up tremendously as well. So I guess I keep trying to think in terms of an agriculture which really produces energy And consequently should have a lower input of energy rather than agriculture which may not produce any energy, but what require energy and has high input as well as the high output. Our particular Association now and could write to me for them to people but it's mile Arts used to be a matter of of learning. We've tried to bring in a biologists and chemists and geologist and all of the people that that we can get our hands on who can possibly help these guys and two to basically help them to understand their own problems. So well, it's a kind of self-help type of approach I guess. You've been listening to dr. Charles reinert of the southwest Minnesota State College physics department discuss Agriculture and energy. This is Steve Monroe.


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