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Separate Men From Boys

Congratulations to Christoph Weder on his column “Stupid to the Last Tree.” (September Grainews, page 33.) It is a masterpiece. There is however, an even greater stupidity rampant among agriculture producers and that is overproduction. This covers all the environmental abominations as well as bankruptcy of the producers, both of which he seems to pursue with even greater alacrity than bulldozing trees — to wit, 60-foot seed drills pulled by 500-horsepower tractors after liberal applications of poison; pig, chicken, beef feedlot, factories producing many thousands of units, all kept alive with liberal doses of antibiotics and hormones; 800-acre lettuce patches, etc.

In 1941, it required one energy unit of petroleum to produce two and a half units of food. Today it takes12 units of petroleum product to produce one energy unit of food, to quote Bob Collins, Country Life, B. C. Also 95 to 100 percent of all wealth from Canadian farmland goes to suppliers, with banks at the top of the food chain. (Stats Canada).

Of course none of the above is sustainable and will probably implode within the next 20 years. This septuagenarian writer can remember when a large extended family could easily sustain itself on less than 50 head of cows, and the surrounding land providing most other necessities, without ever having had lunch with the banker.

It would help a lot if Peace River Ranchers were to keep their cowherds under a consistently manageable 200 head. The current dry weather and low prices due to overproduction are certainly going to separate men from boys.

John Harris Peace River Country, B. C.

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