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Readers' views for March 16, 2012

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Guidelines for 'lay' ranchers


We are longtime subscribers to the Capital Press and enjoy it a lot. This spring I made up a little poem about applying early spring fertilizer. There is much ado about the Tsum-200, a scientific and climate model as to when to apply early spring fertilizer.


I've come up with a simpler approach for us "lay" ranchers who tend to rely on tangible events in the spring that signal our grasses are ready to start growing.


When the daffodils bloom,


And the buzzards return,


It's time for the fertilizer


For the grass that you yearn.


And the thing is, it really works.


Hope you enjoy, keep up the great work. With all the doom and gloom, the Capital Press with all its profiling of everyday farmers and events, is a breath of fresh air.


Dennis and


Rebecca Greenman


Elkton, Ore.




Biotech seed one size fits all


In the "Anti-biotech groups' show flops" editorial, the refutation of your position is right in the middle of your piece. Some 144 farmers have been sued by Monsanto. I assume in the U.S., as they sued a lot more in India.


What type of farmer? Just a farmer, according to you, not an organic farmer. I'll tell what kind of farmer ... the old way, the way of saving your seed to grow what grows best on your land type of farmer. Sounds almost Amish, doesn't it?


That type of farmer is what we call a sustainable farmer, as they adapt to climate changes and their local conditions. But because their seed happened to get pollen from Monsanto seed planted nearby, they can get sued for the possession of those genes and sharing seed with a family member.


... Monsanto doesn't like landrace farmers (those that grow their own site-specific seed) at all and has a way to put them out of business worldwide. ...


Monsanto would love that we all believe that one size fits all. And they want it to be Monsanto's size that provides all. If all our fields were the same and got the same rain and got the same inputs of sun and temperature, that might be a good position, but we all know life is not one size fits all.


And we should not be the cheerleaders for the few who propose that this be so, regardless of reality. Especially as in the same issue you have a great article on how ryegrass is adapting all on its own in Oregon to Roundup.


So consider just how many acres of land in your coverage region that 144 seed farmers represent. And then refigure out how nice it would be if Monsanto was "left alone." Or at the very least, let's hear from some of the 144 farmers sued. Or the thousands who don't want to be in that same sued group. Especially after the organic folks have been laughed at by the system.


Mike Reid


Rogue Mary Farm


Sheridan, Ore.





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