An old friend today reached out and encouraged me (thanks Kimber) about my life and this blog I have been writing (yea, where have I been for the last month?). I am sorry. I hope I am newly inspired, although never needing reminding of what is happening to our world and our people. Forgive me from being away.
I have been thinking and discussing with a few people, some ideas I have for options to reduce the unsustainable farming situations we have in this country, as far as the crops (one of the area I have previously written on) are concerned, and the viability of becoming less dependent on the southern and western regions that assist in sustain our food sources in the colder climate area in the spring, fall and winter seasons.
In 2015 Private analytical firm Informa Economics “acreage estimate of 93.32 ma (million acres) for corn is up from their December 2014 estimate of 91.85 ma. Near 14 billion bushels, weather permitting, with increased supplies expected. Using a 163-bushel-per-acre yield, Informa projects that next year’s corn production could total 14 billion bushels. U.S. farmers could produce 3.6 billion bushels of soybeans, 283 mb (million bushels) more than last year, using an average yield of 44.5 bpa bushels per acre). 345,486,000 metric tons produced in 2015.
32% of the world corn is grown in the U.S. (recall 80%+ feeds the animals we eat). Of the 41 States with a Corn crop in 2014, Lets look at a 25% change in the crop to a crop that can be stored and used to feed humans without the processing which is needed for corn for human consumption, which has little to no nutritional value to our body.
25% = 90ma (rounding down)*.25 = 22.5ma
About 3,143 counties in the U.S.
Which is about an avg of 60/state
About 2478 counties in the 41 corn growing states
Which means roughly 9000 acres per county
9 Vegetable crops (to keep it simple)
Green beans 1000 acres
200 bushels per acre on a good year. I say 150 to not over state.
1000 * 150 = 150,000 bushels of fresh green beans per county
5% waste, damage or spoilage leaves 142,500 bushels
15 quarts per bushel on average = 2,137,500 qts (quarts) of green beans
50% sold for consumption prior to canning (fresh) leaving 1,060,000 qts (rounding down again)
1qt will feed 4 people (this is a guess)
1,000,000 qts (rounding down again) * 4 = 4,000,000 servings
Taking 15 single season growing states high and low populations averaging them = 8,725,242
8,725,242 / 60 (counties avg) = 145,421 people per county
Now were down to 4,000,000 servings for 145,500 (rounding up this time) = 27 days of beans
Eaten 3 times a week = 27/3 = 9 weeks (let’s not forget 50% sold prior to canning)
Total of 52 days / 3 (times a week) = 17 weeks total for one crop on 1000 acres in one average county/state
Then we have the other 8000 acres per county of other food to be grown, sold, stored…
Keep in mind there is a water usage here as well. There is sustainability issues to consider.
This is just one example of how to think.
Now consider the warehousing for out of season consumption for the 50% stored while the other 50% is sold during the end of season sales.
- Canning facilities – Local
- Construction of Canning and other facilities – Local employment growth
- Can manufacturing – Local or on site
- Recycling facilities – Local or on site
- Warehousing – Local or on site
- Distribution – County Local or on site
- Labor Summer youth and adult – County Local
- Growing and employing the local economy
- Potential for cross county bartering or revenue for excess supply
- Reduction of overuse of land where these vegetables previously grown
- Healthier lives, reduced disease and lower health care costs
Perhaps this is looking at this too simply, but it is worth thinking about, and really, if you think it’s more complicated than this. Make it less complicated, and be positive and make it work.
Oh, and a reminder, since I do this at a first pass, my numbers may be off and I may make an adjustment later, but remember the points I have made in my earlier blogs.