This week I attended the annual National No-Tillage Conference for the thirty-second time, in Indianapolis. About 800 to 1000 attend every year. We listen and learn from successful farmers, university professors, and industry experts. I was privileged to be the moderator for two panels with outstanding no-till farmers and researchers.
Let me tell you about one of the successful no-till farmers who spoke. Howard started farming almost 40 years ago in Nebraska. (He later moved to Illinois.) He learned about the newly introduced John Deere 750 no-till drill that meant he could plant soybeans without plowing in the fall and disking once or twice in the spring before planting. Howard decided that planting a field with one trip would save money compared to making 3 or 4 trips. He has been no-tilling ever since.
Howard is like a lot of farmers who want to minimize the cost of buying and operating tractors and equipment when they start farming. They need to pinch pennies because there’s not much profit growing soybeans and corn.
Howard continues to farm without plowing or disking although he could easily afford the extra expenses. See, he is Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
He, like other no-till farmers, knows this is the smart way to grow crops. Our federal government, through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, has a program called “Climate Smart.” The goal is to reduce global warming and make farmland more resilient to weather extremes. It’s no secret that no-till farming with cover crops (to protect the soil and provide live roots most of the year to enrich the soil) is the #1 way to achieve that goal. What’s #2? For cropland, there is no #2.
Back to Howard Buffett. When you meet him, he looks and talks like any other farmer at the conference. You may know that he spends millions on farm machinery. He is a wonderful philanthropist, aiding farmers in Africa especially. He has made three trips to Ukraine recently, buying at least 50 combines, plus tractors, for farmers in the war zone. He funded a method to safely explode landmines planted all across Ukraine farmland by the Russian Army.
Meanwhile in Washington, we’ve been hearing for a couple of years about the Biden family receiving millions of dollars from Communist China. Hunter Biden and President Biden’s brother, James, received the money with no apparent service or products provided in return. And 10% was for the “Big Guy.”
This week we received a hint of why China was happy to bet on the Bidens. President Biden announced yesterday that as long as he is president, the United States will not support the independence of Taiwan. Could this be true?
At the rate Biden is allowing (encouraging?) millions of immigrants to come here illegally, including hundreds being sent by Communist China, I’m not sure he even supports our own independence.
Historic quote by Will Rogers:
“It’s great to be great, but its greater to be human.” DT #1122, Feb. 28, 1930