Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Is Mitch Daniels Trashing Indiana?

You don't hear from me for a couple weeks, and now you get two posts in one day? Sorry, I couldn't help myself when I stumbled across this little excerpt on BioFuels. In case you don't know about it, that's the supposedly "environmentally friendly" spin Daniels has put on his Agricultural push here in Indiana (which many believe is just being used as a smoke screen to change legislation for opening things up to Hog CAFOs all over the State).

Well, his BioFuels spin might end up nipping him in the butt by the time all the research starts hitting mainstream:
Biofuels from energy crops are bad news

Biofuels from energy crops are bad news, as our Energy Review makes clear (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/ISIS_energy_review_exec_sum.pdf).

To sum up: there isn't enough land to grow energy crops and food crops. The pressure on land will accelerate deforestation, and cause huge increases in carbon emissions, so biofuels won’t be carbon neutral as claimed.

Bioenergy crops will destroy biodiversity, and accelerate global warming and species extinction. Above all, they will threaten the food security of the poorest nations, and raise food prices for all countries as food and energy compete for the same "feedstock".

Bioenergy crops are also unsustainable, as they deplete soil minerals and reduce soil fertility especially in the long term. They generally give small to negative energy returns when you do the life-cycle analysis properly. The processing wastes have substantial negative impacts on the environment. And although biodiesel is cleaner than diesel, ethanol is not; it generates mutagens and carcinogens and increases ozone levels in the atmosphere.
So, add this to Daniels big pork push, and you really have to wonder where he's moving after his term in office is over. It also makes you wonder what will happen to the rest of us Hoosiers...

Unabashed Plug: I'm doing something for our family to create a financial safety net in case anything bad happens owing to the Hog CAFO that got planted 2500 feet from our doorstep, and it's proving to be quite lucrative. Check the goji opportunity out here.

What's Worse? Cow or Hog CAFO?

I've been super busy this past month with a rather large FLASH presentation for one client, as well as the launch of our new Co-op beta-test site for The Goji Business Opportunity ...so pardon me for my absence. (We just got word from Ray when he returned from the latest Direct Sellers Association board meeting that we are now the #1 fastest growing Direct Sales Company in the DSA, so we've got to hurry and step up our own systems.)

However, when my husband came home from visiting his brother Doug just outside of Demotte, Indiana, the other day and told me about this, I just had to share it here with my readers.

You see, when he and our son were over there, there was a "Gawdwful smell!" so he asked Doug: "Those hog farms smell like this all the time?"

Doug replied: "Heck no! They've been shut down for almost a year now. That smell you're smelling is coming all the way from 65 ...it's that dairy CAFO over there stinking up the neighborhood."

As the crow flies, that dairy CAFO is about 5 to 6 miles from Doug's home.

Now, since the hog CAFO started up just 2500 feet from our house, we've only "smelled trouble" about 3 or 4 times -- and it most definitely hasn't been as overpowering as what Doug's place was like.

But then again, they still haven't finished things at the hog CAFO yet. Just a couple weeks ago, more concrete trucks thundered by... and just these last couple days, more transports have been coming in, too.

Lordy-Lordy, I sure hope it doesn't reach Doug's situation. My husband said it was enough to make you throw-up ...and even the air-conditioner/purification system inside their house couldn't get rid of it.

My advice to anyone racing down Indiana Interstate 65 and near the junction of Highway 10 -- roll up your windows and hold your breath!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

This year it's soy beans

Every so many years, the farmer who farms the lands surrounding our house switches from popcorn (his preferred crop) to soy bean for one season -- to give the land some recovery time.

This year his crop will be soy beans.

That's why this Kemplog item caught my eye.

I'm referring specifically to the new manure laws being considered in Iowa:
Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission is considering banning the use of livestock manure as fertilizer on soybean fields. A proposal is currently being considered by state regulators to put the ban in place.

Commissioners and state officials supporting the regulation argue that manure is not needed for soybean growth and that it actually has the potential to cause harm to the environment. State officials says that research shows manure applied annually on soybean and corn crop rotations applies 61 percent more phosphorus than needed for the crops to grow.

Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRS) Nutrient Specialist Steve Brinkman explains that the Department of Natural Resources is concerned about excess manure running into the surface water.

Now, I'm pretty certain the new Jasper County CAFO that invaded our area last fall didn't have plans to sell/spread his manure on land surrounding our house... but it's good to know about this piece of news "just in case" there is a change of plans this fall -- if you know what I mean?

But the above quote leads me to wonder this: Just what does the Dept. of Natural Resources do on the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Reserve?

I mean... if Iowa's DNR has concerns regarding CAFOs, why does Jim Bergens, property manager for the J-P Reserve, indicate that he sees "no threat" from the 2500-head hog CAFO located adjacent to the reserve?

Sometimes you just gotta question whose really in charge here in Indiana, and what are their REAL priorities...

By the way -- so far so good -- we've only smelled the new hog factory twice. The wind has been blowing in the right direction, straight towards Jim's offices.