Becoming more difficult for local food producers to stay in business
To the editor:
This is based on facts collected from NASS and other government agencies, presented at the Minnesota State Farm Bureau meeting and other sources:
In 1960, there were 59 million pigs in this country. It took six pounds of feed to produce one pound of pork. Today there are 59.8 million pigs and it takes three pounds of feed to produce one pound of pork.
In 1960, there were 96.2 million beef cattle. It took eight pounds of feed to produce one pound of beef. Today there are 98.1 million head and the conversion ratio is four to one.
In 1960, 19 million head produced 123 billion pounds of milk. Today there are only 9.2 million head producing 189 billion pounds of milk. This area alone reduces the carbon footprint needed to produce milk and cheese for the world by 70 percent.
Today, there are 50 million less crop acres as in 1930 and there are three times more people in the world since 1960.
In 2010, there was 87 percent more corn produced in this nation than in 1980, while applying 4 percent less nutrients. In approximation, that amounts to twice as much food with the same amount of crop nutrients.
About 17 percent of the arable land is irrigated while the same produces well over 40 percent of the food. It is estimated over 90 percent of potatoes grown are irrigated. If one does not like irrigation, quit eating french fries.
Unfortunately, these facts seem to be irrelevant to some NIMBYs and as a consequence, it is becoming more and more difficult for local food producers to stay in business.
Roger Zastrow, Todd Co.
delegate to MN Farm Bureau
Long Prairie, MN
District 4 representative, MN Farm Bureau Policy Committee