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Topic: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World) (Read 95827 times) previous topic - next topic

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Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
I put "Economics of sustainable meat production" in its own thread and you can review that, and of course we now have a thread which covers gardening ... but the question was posed ...

"Dave, why not 'Mark Shepardize' your 8 open acres?"

And I replied ... "Because I have no economic incentive to do so."

Let's look at that more closely.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #1
First a question ...

How many farmers are out there 'Mark Shepardizing' their farms now?

I think the answer is "Very few" and of course we'd like to know why and I think the answer is "No economic incentive to do so."

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #2
Here's some economic facts regarding land in my area that come to bear on this topic ...

1) Cropland leases for $100 - 200 per acre, sometimes more.  Sells for up to $5000 per acre. Also ... this land type is degrading the quickest.
2) Pastureland leases for about $50 per acre.  Sells for $3000-4000 per acre.  This land is degrading somewhat, but not quickly.
3) Rolling woodland leases for as little as $10 per acre.  Sells for $1000-2000 per acre.  This land is not degrading.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #3
Now most people don't think of "woodland" as "agricultural land" (i.e. food producing) ... because almost no one has heard of "woodland agriculture" and "tree fodder" and so on. It's a forgotten tradition, much as heliocentrism was forgotten in Copernicus' day.  This is why "rolling woodland" is cheap currently.  It's wooded because it's rolling (or protected by the government) and cannot be farmed via broad acre tillage.  It's perceived value lies in hunting, or as a retreat.

So here's my thought ...

Start a renaissance in woodland agriculture which gradually changes people's perception of "woodland" WRT food production.   Change people's perceptions WRT to their own involvement with food production.  Change people's perceptions about where they want to live.

With the goal of making it desirable to convert open land to woodland.  What we want to create is a situation where people long to live and produce their own food "in the woods" and make it easy for them to do so.    If we can do this, then pretty soon, everyone will want to do this and there will be a decreasing demand for open pasture and cropland and an increasing demand for woodland, which will in turn provide an incentive for people to PLANT TREES.

See?

That's my rough plan.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #4
Those numbers are so area specific that they are useless for drawing broad conclusions from. For that reason, this diversion has next to nothing to do with saving the world.

However, at the risk of hijacking your thread, lol, the real issues involved are actually pretty interesting. The economics of agriculture are weirdly unlike those of most other markets even though they share individual traits with many other markets.

Utterly discounting your "no inputs" herring and recognizing that the boundaries of human systems are partly fluid within the overall boundary of the Gaia system, we can use the neoliberal language of externalized costs, the social language of livable communities or the ecological language of sustainability to get at some of the complications.

In any economic system, there are something like strange attractors which tend to create homogeneity in professional practices. Loosely speaking, there are 3 basic types of social forces involved for which I do not remember the economic terms so I'm going to borrow from org theory. I should be attributing this but I can't remember the source. Anyway, they are roughly as follows:
-regulations, or "coercive isomorphic pressures"
-copying functional systems as a risk mitigation strategy, called "mimetic isomorphic pressures"
-and the best practices that get shared among professionals through associations and education, called "normative isomorphic pressures".

When a system is generally stable, these pressures are very strong and "disruptive" business practices are virtually nonexistent. However, the regulation part dramatically influences the mimetic and normative pressures. Regulations create economic incentive outside the normal 'free market pressures' and how to adapt agricultural practices to a regulatory environment is a major issue when you want to insert values not encouraged by that environment. Externalized costs are not directly addressed by any regulatory environment that I am aware of (although new Zealand has come close entirely by accident by letting free market pressures dominate agriculture in a confined resource environment with a relatively large external (global) market environment. My personal feeling is that the experimental niche market efforts by people like Dave's heroes is a petri dish for a new set of strange attractors which could be implemented intentionally in our ag. system.

I'm on my phone and it turns out my idea here is bigger than my screen space so I'll just leave this here for consideration and get back to it when I get a chance
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if you give it away you'll have so many
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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #5
" Area specific "

 True but you have to start somewhere. And I am actually a guy who's literally doing something, as opposed to people sitting in ivory towers pontificating about doing something but never actually doing something.

 So do you have any constructive feedback on my admittedly "area specific" numbers?

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #6
Looks like Hawkins has gone full "Socrates".
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #7
" Area specific "

 True but you have to start somewhere. And I am actually a guy who's literally doing something, as opposed to people sitting in ivory towers pontificating about doing something but never actually doing something.

 So do you have any constructive feedback on my admittedly "area specific" numbers?
the bold has no bearing on whether you are doing anything with any value to others. Not that there is any necessity that you do. It also has no bearing on whether or not your pronouncements have any validity. Especially your pronouncements, which, as I pointed out by dismissing your 'saving the word' global aspirations bullshit, are so self-contradictory as to be useless for other people to make heads or tails of.

Point being, the ivory tower bullshit you are spouting has no relationship to the issues at hand which are discussion related. You can provide the results you've experienced but I do notice that you've now recognized and adopted most of the initial criticisms you got so, whether or not the adversarial tone of this discussion is frustrating, it has made something of a difference in your practice so you're welcome for that.

So, since we've established that there is nothing global about your project, that vegetable crops are not bad things, that the plant rain causal direction runs from rain to plants, that you do in fact need to and now do know the names and properties of at least the major species of flora in an area where you want to do agriculture, that straw bale housing has advantages over living in a tent, that 'inputs' is a red herring because the issue is not cut and dry since the system is not closed for many orders of magnitude, there are now two separate topics for me here in this thread. Both of which I find interesting. The first is the provincial issue of whether your particular experience can offer some valuable comparisons to other sustainability efforts using different approaches. So far, it looks like a minor and probably salvageable train wreck coming when you experience winter. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I would plant some fast growing shrubs that goats like if it were me but it isn't me so I'm happy as a spectator. The second issue interests me maybe more than the first. That one involves making sustainability work in our current market-oriented social context. In a straight profit/loss sense, it is significantly cheaper to rape the soil extractively rather than sustainably. That does not tend to translate into greater profit for the farmers although it does translate to cheaper prices on especially, cotton, corn, soy, potatoes, wheat, beef, chicken and pork for consumers.   

Since the issue is a classic 'wicked problem' (did I make it clear what I mean by that term already?), teasing out the interconnected issues and the related values that produce the conflict involves looking for both levers as you are doing* and identifying the institutional forces that create or perpetuate the conflicting values. I am interested in the policy choices, the economic sytems and market parameters as well as the educational zeitgeist that would work together to both produce 'real' food, (the jury has reached a verdict that big ag type monoculture produces less nutritional value per pound than organically or sustainably grown food so I am ok with this word), reduce the environmental/externalized cost of agriculture, and distribute the profits from agriculture to producers rather than aggregating the profits in multinational corporations.

*whether or not your levers or the system you've constructed to hypothesize your levers has any relationship to reality is a separate question. Point is, you are trying to find systemic levers, albeit from a surprisingly reductionist perspective.
Love is like a magic penny
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if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #8
 Bafflegab at its finest.

 Let me explain things to you simply because one of my specialties is making seemingly complex things simple.

 I used to think that agriculture - that is producing food - was hard.  I confirmed this hypothesis about 23 years ago with my first business which was an agricultural business.   It was hard and it sucked and I didn't make any money.  I kept trying in small ways and finally after several years and enormous amount of effort, I figured it out.

 And guess what... It's simple.

 But it's only simple if you possess certain knowledge.   Which I obviously didn't possess until a few years ago.

 So now, food production for me is simple.   Housing is also much simpler than most people make it out to be.

 Now - in 2016 - I am armed with two valuable things...

1)  simple housing, and
2)  simple food production

 And I'm getting pretty good with energy production as well.

 When I get really really proficient with all three of these items, that will be extremely powerful.  And by the way, I'm getting proficient at dealing with government officials as well - getting them to see things my way.

 I'll stop there for now because you apparently have a pea brain and I don't want that pea brain to explode  because I've crammed it too full of information.

 So have fun shooting fireworks or whatever and I'll catch up with you later!
  • Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 03:30:33 PM by Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #9
Good god you're an idiot.
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #10
 But you are not able to give any specific reasons as to why you think so.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #11
 I guess you just feel the need to say something like this twice a day or so in the hopes that maybe you will eventually be shown to be right.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #12
"Idiot"

 You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #13
Looks like Hawkins has gone full "Socrates".

"I'm gonna make my own Ivory Tower.  With blackjack, and hookers."  - David Hawkins
While you were getting your PhD in virology, I got my PhD in truth detection. :wave:  Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #14
But you are not able to give any specific reasons as to why you think so.
I see you gave no specific reasons why you think you have simple housing and food. But people with more than two brain cells can figure out why you think that from thousands of preceding posts.

Similarly we deduce from those posts that you are an idiot.

Duh.
"I would never consider my evaluation of his work to be fair minded unless I had actually read his own words." - Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #15
Bafflegab at its finest.

A sure sign Dave doesn't understand Testy's post, and completely missed the point. So, instead of engaging with substance, Dave goes full messiah:

Quote
But it's only simple if you possess certain knowledge.   Which I obviously didn't possess until a few years ago.

If only everyone just trusted, and followed Hawkins, with just a mustard seed of faith, they too could be saved, and in turn, the world. And in the end, if you don't agree with Dave you are a pea-brained moron and a quintessential idiot, for only a fool in his heart denies Dave's Truth.

Quote
I'll stop there for now because you apparently have a pea brain and I don't want that pea brain to explode  because I've crammed it too full of information.

And in the face of reasoned, thoughtful participation by someone in His Holy Thread, Dave returns to the behaviour for which he is known, the behaviour that comforts him on the lonely nights, the behaviour that allows him to find his own flawed mind superior to all others: The Ways of The Asshole.
  • Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 04:23:41 PM by Photon

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #16
Bafflegab at its finest.
Really? Gosh, thanks. Dave just called my post the finest.
Quote
Let me explain things to you simply because one of my specialties is making seemingly complex things simple.
Oh boy.
Quote

 I used to think that agriculture - that is producing food - was hard.  I confirmed this hypothesis about 23 years ago with my first business which was an agricultural business.  It was hard and it sucked and I didn't make any money.  I kept trying in small ways and finally after several years and enormous amount of effort, I figured it out.

 And guess what... It's simple.

 But it's only simple if you possess certain knowledge.  Which I obviously didn't possess until a few years ago.
And apparently still don't since none of the following is accurate.
Quote
So now, food production for me is simple.  Housing is also much simpler than most people make it out to be.

 Now - in 2016 - I am armed with two valuable things...

1)  simple housing, and
2)  simple food production

 And I'm getting pretty good with energy production as well.

 When I get really really proficient with all three of these items, that will be extremely powerful.  And by the way, I'm getting proficient at dealing with government officials as well - getting them to see things my way.

 I'll stop there for now because you apparently have a pea brain and I don't want that pea brain to explode  because I've crammed it too full of information.

 So have fun shooting fireworks or whatever and I'll catch up with you later!
This is pretty raging.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #17
Bafflegab at its finest.
Really? Gosh, thanks. Dave just called my post the finest.
Quote
Let me explain things to you simply because one of my specialties is making seemingly complex things simple.
Oh boy.
Quote

 I used to think that agriculture - that is producing food - was hard.  I confirmed this hypothesis about 23 years ago with my first business which was an agricultural business.  It was hard and it sucked and I didn't make any money.  I kept trying in small ways and finally after several years and enormous amount of effort, I figured it out.

 And guess what... It's simple.

 But it's only simple if you possess certain knowledge.  Which I obviously didn't possess until a few years ago.
And apparently still don't since none of the following is accurate.
Quote
So now, food production for me is simple.  Housing is also much simpler than most people make it out to be.

 Now - in 2016 - I am armed with two valuable things...

1)  simple housing, and
2)  simple food production

 And I'm getting pretty good with energy production as well.

 When I get really really proficient with all three of these items, that will be extremely powerful.  And by the way, I'm getting proficient at dealing with government officials as well - getting them to see things my way.

 I'll stop there for now because you apparently have a pea brain and I don't want that pea brain to explode  because I've crammed it too full of information.

 So have fun shooting fireworks or whatever and I'll catch up with you later!
This is pretty raging.
You really don't get it do you?  Astounding.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #18
But you are not able to give any specific reasons as to why you think so.
But I have.
Over and over.
As have others.
Many others.
Over and over.

So there's really not much left to say, but "Good God, you're an idiot"

Unless and until someone else comes along and says "No, Dave is right. Here's why...  [gives reasons why]_"

The thing is, raging narcissists will rage.
Narcissistically.

That's what you do.
That's what people call you on.
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #19
Bafflegab at its finest.
Really? Gosh, thanks. Dave just called my post the finest.
Quote
Let me explain things to you simply because one of my specialties is making seemingly complex things simple.
Oh boy.
Quote

 I used to think that agriculture - that is producing food - was hard.  I confirmed this hypothesis about 23 years ago with my first business which was an agricultural business.  It was hard and it sucked and I didn't make any money.  I kept trying in small ways and finally after several years and enormous amount of effort, I figured it out.

 And guess what... It's simple.

 But it's only simple if you possess certain knowledge.  Which I obviously didn't possess until a few years ago.
And apparently still don't since none of the following is accurate.
Quote
So now, food production for me is simple.  Housing is also much simpler than most people make it out to be.

 Now - in 2016 - I am armed with two valuable things...

1)  simple housing, and
2)  simple food production

 And I'm getting pretty good with energy production as well.

 When I get really really proficient with all three of these items, that will be extremely powerful.  And by the way, I'm getting proficient at dealing with government officials as well - getting them to see things my way.

 I'll stop there for now because you apparently have a pea brain and I don't want that pea brain to explode  because I've crammed it too full of information.

 So have fun shooting fireworks or whatever and I'll catch up with you later!
This is pretty raging.
You really don't get it do you?  Astounding.
Why is that "astounding"?

It's not like everyone else hasn't been telling you the same thing.
Yet it never occurs to you that you are the one not "getting it".

It's the narcissism.
It rages.
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #20
Yes and majorities are always right.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #21
 I don't know why I enjoy trying to get people to understand things they don't want to understand. 

 But I do. So here goes again.

 Does everyone here agree that we need to figure out how to feed ourselves  with food systems that restore  ecosystems instead of degrading them?

 Is there anyone here does that does not agree with this basic idea?

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #22
I agree with the basic point. Go on.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #23
Whew! Good. I was a little worried about you.

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Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #24
I didn't really expect you to understand what I wrote.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor