Weather, water, fuel and fertilizer are the big four areas that are out of the control of any farmer when it comes to the cost of doing business. Weather is a given, but the other variables can change almost as quickly and have just as devastating an impact on the bottom line.
Mark Masters of Albany State University with the Georgia Planning and Policy Center talked about the availability of water – both from an environmental and a policy standpoint. “We talked about issues such as drought and how that impacts the water resources and even issues related to endangered species and dwindling waters supplies in some areas,” he said.
He says that the peanut industry has already been taking steps to help growers through research into proper irrigation practices and genetics.
Listen to my interview with Mark here:
Mark Masters Interview (MP3)
The future of energy costs with finite fossil fuel resources was the topic for Dr. Gale Buchanan, former USDA chief scientist and Under Secretary for Research in the Bush Administration.
“Everyone should become knowledgeable of what the situation is with fossil energy sources of all types,” said Dr. Buchanan. “These are finite sources of energy and we need to be planning for the future.”
Dr. Buchanan stressed the need for research. “The only way we can deal with this is by strengthening our research efforts to try to make agriculture less energy intensive and still maintain productivity,” he said.
Listen to my interview with Dr. Buchanan here:
Dr. Gale Buchanan Interview (MP3)