Serving Franklin County, WA

Follow the money

It’s harvest time again and I look at all of the huge equipment that works hard to get the crop into the grain elevators. This past weekend I was reading a bit of history that my uncle wrote about the family farm, my mom’s dad’s place. He wrote about the work that was involved to get the crop planted using horses. He also talked about harvesting with a 9 foot header. My neighbor’s combine header is 40 feet. Anyway going from a header to a pull type combine with a 14 foot header was an amazing transition.

He also talked about the days when it was so dry and having extremely poor crops with wheat selling for $.75 a bushel. How they made it is a remarkable story but they did. The story of going from horses to a tractor made a huge difference in how much labor saving was involved as well as keeping one’s body in one piece. Times have changed that’s for sure.

Today farmers are battling high costs of fuel and fertilizer and the possibility that the government will force people to not use fossil fuels. I maintain that good ideas are okay until people start starving. If there is not diesel to run the tractors, combines and trucks to get the crops to market and the grocery stores things could get ugly in a hurry. One of the problems that we have is that politicians that are making these decisions either have never run a business or ever worked in the farming industry.

As you drive down the freeway in eastern Washington you will see a lot of farm ground raising dryland wheat, canola or peas and in the irrigated land corn, potatoes, alfalfa, and fruit. For some reason politicians think that there will be electric trucks, tractors and combines to take over for the diesel powered rigs. Sure there has been some headway in this endeavor but the next thing one needs to know is where will these machines be able to charge a battery when needed. A farmer can’t just drive a combine home and recharge the battery especially if the farm is 5-10 miles away from the field.

Our governor is also in favor of breaching the Snake River dams in order to save the salmon. Every person that wants to save the salmon also wants to eat the salmon. Are these salmon endangered and if they are why are they still being sold at Safeway. I am doing my part. I haven’t eaten salmon for 20 years. I made the commitment to not eat salmon as long as it’s considered endangered.

I would like to know if the governor has eaten salmon in the last 20 years and how much salmon? The dams on the Snake River allow for the windmills and solar panels to function because the electricity produced by the dams will always be powering homes when there is no wind or if it is foggy or at night. The recreational areas developed because of the dams are utilized by the boating public and people who enjoy fishing and swimming.

A small portion of the Snake River water has been utilized by farmers to irrigate crops especially fruit trees. The food produced is sold locally but also overseas to help feed a growing population in Asian countries. I have been to three of the four Snake River dams and they are big dams. They also help with flood control. They are an asset that is unique to the Pacific Northwest. Most areas of the USA don’t have hydroelectric power that is carbon free which is what the governor and all politicians that want to get rid of fossil fuels and coal and natural gas fired power plants. The only other carbon free power is nuclear and they don’t want it either. Which makes one wonder if the politicians have invested big time in solar and wind? They can’t invest in the dams so why not make them useless.

With all of the charging stations that will need to be installed in the next 20 years it would only make sense to keep the dams in place because they are carbon neutral and renewable, I don’t care what anyone else says.

We hear so much about climate change and global warming it would seem to me that if it was such a problem why would so many people want to move to Arizona, Texas and Florida? We hear so much about follow the science but it always seems to be political science that gets in the way.


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