Light Rain


Glancing into agricultural around the world

View from Rural Route 8

By Jim Suber

The TV showed a big volcano blasting forth rather unexpectedly. The ash and fumes blown two miles into the atmosphere reminded us of other, historic volcanoes that literally changed the world’s climate for several years with their very own and very natural additions to the open air with no help from mankind…

Carbon tax proposal

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, reminded us this week on his website that the old carbon tax is coming up again as a proposal by the Democrats.

Roberts noted that the tax charged on uses of crude oil products and natural gas and coal will be passed on to the consumers and rate payers.

It will be a regressive tax, because lower income citizens pay a higher percentage of their income for energy than do others. It is going to reduce the average take home pay by $1,400 a year.

Roberts says he’ll fight it.

The old Marine also had some choice things to say about the administration’s Middle East policies following the uprisings there, the attacks on our embassies and the deaths of Americans…


Lack of rain in area

Some rain came in places, but not much at this column’s home office.

As I told a friend from the other end of the county, where as much as .90 inches fell in a cool and cloudy 24 hours, what rain we had came down nicely.

My trace, for example, did not run off and cause any erosion, or pack any ground. Each drop soaked in.

There was at least a drop every three inches.

The lucky leaves that caught a drop seemed happy to lap it up.

I told my wife the “storm” seemed to split right at our main entrance to the house, because the sidewalk leading to the right was almost fully coated with moisture, while the one leading left seemed a bit splotchy…

New fertilizer source

A huge new fertilizer plant in Lee County, Iowa, is being touted as a way to give corn farmers in the No. 1 corn state a reliable source of fertilizer.

A terribly non-technical article did admit that America lost much of its fertilizer production capacity in the last two decades (there are environmental regulatory considerations and costs associated with that loss, believe me, because I was on duty when it went down).

Presumably, the plant will use new natural gas underneath much of Iowa with which to make ammonia-based fertilizers.

I am wondering, and maybe someone can tell me, but wouldn’t fertilizers made from natural gas qualify as “organic’?

In fact, how much more organic could one get than anything made from natural gas or for that matter, crude oil?…


Mad foreign farmers

Speaking of fertilizer, farmers in parts of Afghanistan are angry that Americans have stopped the flow of imported fertilizer (must be ammonium nitrate) in order to reduce bomb-making by the enemy.

The unhappy byproduct has been crop production cut in half.

In turn, the farmers, who are often community leaders in the rugged regions, were often our best allies against the Taliban…

Tree’s life ends

A big ash tree in the yard had been dying back for several years and then this second round of an ultra-dry late summer just about polished it off.

So I cut it down in a pre-emptive strike and counted more than 90 rings, or about one per nail that generations of children, tree house builders, bird house watchers and catfish cleaners had driven into it. I needed a new chain for the saw anyway, okay?

Ash is my favorite all around tree for shade and fire wood. Sad to say, the relentless emerald ash beetle is now known to be in Wyandotte County in Kansas. The insect has left few, if any, survivors in its wake.

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