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About TheGleaner

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  • Birthday August 31

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    Center of North America. Central/Mountain Time Zone.
  • Personal Motto
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
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    Farming, this, Cows, equipment that needs alot of work and/or obsolete, making a better combine.

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  1. Today's farming requires a lot of paperwork. In this category I will try to cover most of the paperwork required and solve some common misconceptions. Included here, but not limited to: The Farm Bill Banking Insurance Farm Programs FSA Programs NRCS Programs And more.
  2. We farm and ranch around the Geological Center of North America and as a result I can only comment on basically Great Plains/Northern Plains/Canadian Praries farming and ranching. We are on the USA side of the border, but not that terrible far from it. We have about 3000 acres under cultivation. We have about 300 cow calf pairs of beef cattle, mostly of the Hereford breed. Our land ranges from flatter than glass to rivaling the Palouse region of Washington State. Trees only exist naturally in creeks/cricks, low places, and in strange places, such as on the side of a clay butte
  3. The short answer to this question is: combine just about every job you can think of, from accounting to surgeon, mechanic to PR advertising, engineer to computer tech, today's farmer has to do it all. You are busy all the time and then you sit around and try, and fail, to find something to do. You are your own boss, so you are in control of your future, your days off, and your paycheck(to a point). The "Old McDonald" type of farmer and farming, the type of farm with every type of animal, growing every type of crop, is almost gone. Times change and that type didn't want to be carried on or
  4. Around 2007 or so people made fun of the idea of $20 wheat. Around 2012, wheat went for $26.

    Today they're making fun of $18 corn, $30 soybeans, and $42 wheat, but they're putting a date on it: 2023. They say possible but not likely, just like they did around 2007.

    Something to think about I guess...current wheat prices are $6, corn $5 and beans a bit below $10. The midwest is in a drought currently.

    So here's to hoping that G5 is an escape from that...as that's basically guaranteed that 2023 will either be a terribly dry or terribly wet year...isn't farming fun?

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. ShadOBabe


      Oh okay. Huh, interesting.

      What’s it like being a farmer? Where you born into it?

    3. TheGleaner


      @ShadOBabeyes I was born into it(around 1850 my ancestors came to the US, then went back to Europe for the civil war and then came back in 1870, and then about 40 years ago my parents moved about 500 west of where most of the family was to take over a small farm/mostly ranching operation in a contract for deed, aka work here for x number of years and then after that everything gets turned over to you, from two widows, one of which gave my dad about 400 acres and a yard with a house just for cleaning up the shelter belt of trees around the house)...as for the rest...that's a loaded question that I'll try to make a short answer and a long answer. 

      Short answer: take just about every job you can think of and lower the pay quite a bit. From mechanic to stock broker, doctor to account, PR to carpenter. There are times where it seems like you should have 20 people and there are times where you sit around and look for things to do. There is something satisfying about watching your crop grow, watching the calves run around and play, fixing your equipment, and walking the tame fence crawling cow out of your garden, across the yard, past 4 sets of open gates just for her to crawl through the fence you just fixed, back to where she should be. There are frustrating times when your entire crop is wiped out in 5 minutes by hail and wind, your pastures feed value gone in a day due to someone's neglect and the resulting fire. Then you go home and watch the TV networks talk about how farmers don't know what they are doing and how they are terrible, horrible people for ruining the planet. In all I wouldn't trade it for anything. 


      Longer answer: we are a mostly small grains and beef cattle operation, about 3k acres under cultivation and about 300 cow-calf pairs. We are along the US Canada border, in a somewhat flat, yet hilly area. Farming today is alot of paperwork. In the 1970s, it was about impossible to go broke, the USSR was buying as much grain as the US could grow. The only paperwork there was, was the usual optional crop insurance  and the usual insurance like everyone else has, liability for vehicles, fire for your house, etc, and your bills. In 1978/1979 a grain embargo was put on the USSR and that wrecked the markets(they have not recovered to anywhere near where they were in the 50s, 60s, or 70s(when adjusted for inflation), they did briefly around 2011 but for no longer than 6 months). In the 1980s the farm crisis was happening(a good thing to google) as it was about impossible to even get close to making a profit. The government reacted with subsidies. Those subsidies continue on to this day as it is still hard to turn a profit without them, you could if you were willing to live and work very lean, cut all non essential expenses, and some do that. The thing is, all these subsidies and government programs and optional and sometimes conflict one another. Currently the only ones who offer crop insurance is a government owned company and the rates for that are highly subsidized and even then they are high, sometimes not worth it at all. Currently the current main programs make you pick a side: either your crops will fail and there will be prices or your crops will not fail and the prices will be low. What happens if neither happens? They(the USDA's Farm Service Agency, FSA) sits down and figures on averages and where you sit, and no matter what happens you will either get something or nothing about a year from harvest, sometimes 2 years. One year we guessed correctly and got a decent payment-3 years later. Another we guessed wrong and got a payment that winter-of $2.72. There are lots of smaller optional programs which you can join, but it requires alot of hoops to jump through and alot of paperwork. My uncle is one who chooses to do that, and last year he had an approximately 5' stack of papers for about 1/2 of those programs. With those programs you can very easily be disqualified, but if you aren't and everything lines up, you can be paid very, very well, just is it worth the stacks of papers and regulations and hoops? On top of that, if you participate in any of the programs, you must report your harvest, a reasonably close estimate, and like usual the "reasonably" part is up for debate person to person. They can and will Audit you on that, and that can end up with a fine or disqualification or higher cost for the programs. Oh did I mention with all of those programs we have to pay for them? We pay for them twice-through the normal taxes and then again when we sign  up for them, the only thing that is subsidized is the fee for them. Oh and these programs and change month to month and usually seem to in some form or another. Taxes are a whole nother thing, with the same thing about change being true. Our farm's tax paperwork(as in the part that goes to the government) is about 3" thick, printed on both sides of the paper, and you have to keep all your records and receipts for atleast 10 years. With farming they usually lean a bit heavier on your profit/loss part. This year we paid $4, because for the last 2 years we have had a drought, which means failed or close to failed crops, which meant a massive loss, something like 30k, I think between the last 2 years. If you want to grow at a reasonable rate, you either have to be a good salesman at convincing the seller to self finance or be buddy buddy with the bank, especially if you like new equipment, which can run up to $2 million a combine, without the cutting header part, another $250k at most expense. We run older equipment, mostly from the 1970s and 1980s(its only 10 years old to us, we refuse to believe the 1980s was 40 years ago :p) and while they are cheaper to buy and run for the most part, but they are small compared to new today and part are getting hard to find and are getting expensive. Oh and you're on your own for fixing that age of equipment.  This is where the bank part comes in and is a common point of frustration for us, most people see the farmers with new vehicles and equipment and go "well they must be making money, why do they need help from the government?" And not realize that debt is a thing, usually it's like a "infinite time" loan, as long as you are consistently paying it back, the bank will keep loaning you money, they don't really care if you pay it off as they make the money on the interest.  For us we don't farm enough to make it off if farming alone, as no one sells land or gives up renting it as once you do, you aren't getting it back, so we have cows. Cows, for the most part, are basically unsubsidized, at least for beef cattle. You might be able to get some help for feed costs, but not much. There are alot of constant expenses, mostly vaccines(we grow 90-100% of our feed ourselves) and whatever they wreck, either on purpose or accidentally. We are in an area that had alot of failed homesteads, so the government owns alot of land that was put back into grass in the 1930s, so they cheaply rent land out to ranchers, usually based per head and that includes it's own set of hoops too. We rent about 4k acres of it, it is very poor land but it makes good summer pastures. It has been a constant worry since about 1990 that the environmental lobby will take it away as they have tried multiple things over the years from "your water tanks are death traps for endangered butterflies"(not kidding) to "it would be better off if there was absolutely no cows on it, like when the dinosaurs were around"(we were underwater then...) they have done tests where they fence on an area and see what happens, but they forget that buffalo were a thing, so it overgrown and chokes itself out. The current worry is they have a "grassland grass measuring stick" that is basically a yard stick with many colors on it. They will unfairly measure the low spots(shoulder high grass) and say the rest of the pasture(knee high grass) should be that tall, and it's the cows fault. The local ag colleges have done multiple studies and they have concluded that the only way to grow grass that high across everything would be to quadruple the rainfall and haul in approximately 3' of high quality top soil. And while that is happening, the fake meat thing is going on. The current hope is that it will be like the veggie burger, that it will eventually peak in popularity and fall to a more niche market level. Then on top of that is the "organic/anti medicine" movement, which affects both parts, the crops with the herbicides and pesticides which if they were banned, there would definitely be trouble and a massive dip in production due to the fact that...well they have existed for about 500 years in some form or another, there isn't really anything efficient, effective, and/or on a large enough scale to replace them, and on the cow side, anti vaccine and anti antibiotic. Because of this, we now have to get a written note from a vet to purchase antibiotics to treat diseases that are basically locked to cattle, it would be just about impossible to make the jump to humans.  So that's more paperwork, plus a government fee, plus a vet fee. It has good intentions, but it's a "those few screw it up for the rest" type of deal. Common antibiotics and such are still available easily for the most part, unless you want to treat the entire herd via feed, then that's more paperwork and fees. I think that about covers the paperwork/regulations and threats part...for the most part anyway.

      The actual farming and ranching, when you aren't on the phone for parts or paperwork or fixing something, is very nice and peaceful. At times boring and frustrating but not everything can be perfect.

      I hate to stop here, but it appears I have hit a limit on characters(or ram on my phone) and my phone is at 3%...I will continue with the actual farming and ranching part, whether or not you want to continue reading this novel is up to you, it you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask, I was going to proof read this but I don't know how much I should trust the auto save of this site...so there may be errors and I apologize for that...I should create a blog for this I think...

    4. ShadOBabe


      Holy COW... pun intended. That was ridiculously long and I love it! XD 

      Sounds both amazing and stressful as heck. Thank you so much for all the info. Keep going if you want!


      its only 10 years old to us, we refuse to believe the 1980s was 40 years ago :p

      Haha! Sounds like my mom. I just turned 30 and she’s like, “Uuuuuugh...”

      Aww... to be fair, the idea of anything that hurts an endangered species is super said to me. But it kind of sounds more like they have a beef with you (pun intended again) and will just gripe at you for anything they can think of.

      God bless you for your patience.

  5. 40% is still a decent chunk...also if I remember correctly if they valued that 40 at what they sold the 10, they lost money on it.
  6. @Twilight Sparkle  This didn't really seem to fit on the last post I made so here is as good as spot as any I figured to mention this:

    On the crawler/tracker, one of the other forums I am on has to routinely ban their addresses due to crawlers getting stuck in their search function, which leads to a dodos style problem(30 years and 100k users making 2k posts a day is a lot to search through)...and that's an agricultural form that nothing really big ever happens aside from "what moron engineers designed this and how am I susposed to fix it?"

  7. @Twilight Sparkle ✨ do you think there's any chance of the service answering you if you straight out asked them or have you? I mean it might mean something when they get an email saying something like "Hello, I started this forum, why are you spying on/ddosing us and who's paying you to do it?" (I suppose if you wanted to see if Hasbro directly was looking at us you would just have to figure out their place's IP addresses and check logs and such) The sonic style leak is kinda part of where my original thought came from, since hasn't this movie pushed back two or three times? I swore I r
  8. Any thoughts on the mane 6 doing something like the "pillars"(I think that's what they were called) did? Sacrificing themselves into some paused dimension or something to save their world? Granted it would be a recycled line but...its a thought.
  9. @Twilight Sparkle ✨ you can probably come up with a better name for the title. Anyway as suggested: I kinda wonder if Hasbro is sitting here monitoring this site and Fimfiction now going "come on, come on, we need a story for our movie and series and we've got every thing else ready, but we're running out of time, come on, come up with something good" I also wonder why they haven't licensed/used/stole fanfiction yet too. Seems like a decent idea. Then again I'm not a businessman. But the thought of strategically leaking just enough of G5 to the community to get it going, to use what t
  10. I kinda wonder if Hasbro is sitting here monitoring this site and Fimfiction now going "come on, come on, we need a story for our movie and series and we've got every thing else ready, but we're running out of time, come on, come up with something good"

    I also wonder why they haven't licensed/used/stole fanfiction yet too. Seems like a decent idea. Then again I'm not a businessman. 

    But the thought of strategically leaking just enough of G5 to the community to get it going, to use what the community comes up with...is amusing for some reason. 

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. TheGleaner


      @Twilight Sparkle hopefully the right one there, put it in the G5 forums?

    3. Twilight Sparkle ✨

      Twilight Sparkle ✨

      @TheGleaner The G5 forum would be great for this!

    4. TheGleaner


      @Twilight Sparkle well it's now there...if you can think of a better title go ahead and change it, I suck at creative writing...so it's a poor title.

  11. As much as possible on paper, in print. Only reading I do online/electrically is what I can't do offline. If paper and ink weren't so expensive, I'd probably find a way to use forums and such via fax or something. I'd bet I have pushing a thousand books...mostly the school's fault though, they cleaned out all their "inappropriate for modern times books" and guess who knew the janitor to save them from the dumpster? Me! (They threw away alot of western's...and how to books, so if I ever want to read The Shootest while building my own house while welding a "seamless" roof, now I can)
  12. I will never understand business no matter how much I end up in one. Spend all that money on something, it does "ok" and then idle it for...? Just forget about it, not improve it or work with it, just kinda leave it to fade. Granted the idea was somewhat poor in the first place, it apparently does fine for what it is now and for what it costs through Dish. I figured they would be on discovery +.
  13. I had somewhat figured that since there isn't "purple unicorn race/breed" that the normal/pegasus/unicorn/etc would be considered a breed. The problem with what you said is there is a definition for it, but no one uses it as intended...which is kinda why I brought up the breed part. In a way it sounds better for a kids show, then again I'm thinking out loud here at 4am. Edit at 430, I see "species " is slowly replacing race...so they are separate species now.
  14. Log onto mlpfs at 340am just to do some quick reading.

    10 notifications and most are quotes...crap...what did I say?

    1. Twilight Sparkle ✨

      Twilight Sparkle ✨

      Many insightful and/or wonderful things worth responding to is what! Congrats on the attention - I hope you're having a good time on MLPF so far. :)

    2. TheGleaner


      @Twilight Sparkle

      Well here I am again...345 AM...I guess what I meant was I thought I'd just do some quick reading before I went to sleep, find something humorous  or something, and then...well...I feel somewhat obligated to at least read the responses and then most of those responses were good enough to warrant another reply, and then the part 2 thread came out and that I figured might as well read...and then I looked at the time and it was 430. Usually I get maybe 3 or 4 notifications here at most, and well I have another 14 I see...you know kinda a sudden jump from nothing to alot.

      Usually on other forms if I'm quoted alot I've managed to start a small war on a thread either for or against me on some obscure, sarcastic comment it seems...so I'm at times somewhat hesitant to see what its about. 

      All of that plus I'm not one that usually looks for attention, the opposite really.

      But this isn't like other forums(thankfully)and I have had a good time here so far. I hope that G5 is as good and successful as G4 so I can somewhat experience what it was like.

      Oh and thanks for coming up with a more creative title.

  15. Either the Netflix part is new or I missed it in the other one...looks like I will have to be patient for it. I suspose I should read about Hasbro's meeting but they still own 40 some percent of Discovery family...they would eventually have to run something else on it I would think.
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