Monday November 24, 2014

Moose Mountain Ag Day provides welcomed information

Kelly Running

Dr. Arden Anderson was a speaker at Moose Mountain Ag Day who presented information on the controversial subjects of genetically modified foods and the use of glyphosate on the farm.

Moose Mountain Ag Day was held on Feb. 5 at Prairie Place Hall. They welcomed five speakers throughout the day to address different topics associated with agricultural practices today. This included Dr. Arden Anderson, Drew Lerner, Mark Folk, Jerry Klassen, and Greg Johnson “The Storm Chaser.”

The day attracted approximately 80 people and held much information for both farmers and ranchers. Not only did those in agriculture get information through the speakers; but, they were able to address a number of different people associated with different companies through the booths set up along the sides of the hall.

These booths included Bio Agronics, Precision Ag, STARS, Mack Auction Co., Echlon Ag., Advanced Agri-Direct, and Stars along with many others.

The first speaker was probably the most controversial in the group of those presenting for the day. Dr. Anderson presented information concerning the demineralization of food and an increase in allergic reactions including intolerance to gluten.

“Health is correlated to farming practices,” Dr. Anderson explained.

He, therefore, described genetically modified food as having an impact on health. Through graphs and data he showed how food has more calories while also having fewer nutrients.

On top of this he spoke about chemicals which are used to treat crops. Dr. Anderson claimed these chemicals, glyphosate in particular which is found in Round-Up, was an antimicrobial. It therefore kills both bad and good microbes making people more likely to become ill integrally connecting food and health.

“We do not need genetically engineered crops to feed the world. In fact, we need to get rid of them to feed the world,” Dr. Anderson stated during his presentation.

The only way that this will change is at the farm. This presentation was the most controversial as companies that have developed modified grains were present with trade booths at the event. They presented their own take on their research following Dr. Anderson’s presentation, leaving the farmers conflicting views.

This presentation was followed by a coffee break to which they came back to listen to Drew Lerner speak about his predictions for the weather this year.

“You will get all your crops in this year,” Lerner stated, thus making the crowd quite pleased.

He described his forecast for the spring as being fairly sure, while the one in the summer is more unsure. Lerner addressed an 18-year-cycle pattern he uses to look at forecasts. This spring he calls for mixed temperatures, with an end of February as being slightly cooler than usual.

The summer months are more so unknown because our weather is dependent on a high pressure system sitting over the western Corn Belt in the United States currently. If the high pressure system continues to grow then it will affect our weather patterns for the summer creating warmer weather with less rain; but, if the Corn Belt receives precipitation it will keep the high pressure system from spreading too far north and we will have a mild summer.

Autumn will then bring fair temperatures, but it may be wetter than usual. It won’t be rained out, but farmers will have to deal with some moisture when bringing in the crops.

Lerner also presented his views on Global Warming or Climate Change, which includes the global temperature seemingly leveling off in accordance with solar cycles. The Earth’s temperature is thusly interconnected with how hot the sun is. The years with fewer sunspots means the Earth usually goes through a cooling trend. Therefore, he believes in the next 10 to 20 years the Earth will cool some.

Following Lerner’s presentation was another coffee break and time to speak with the booths set up at the event.

Mark Folk then spoke about farm land ownership, which was followed by Jerry Klassen who addressed crop and livestock markets. As a commodity market analyst he was very knowledgeable. Markets for corn and barely is being thought to be sensitive this year due to weather in the United States, but it is expected that corn prices will possibly drop this fall. While high feeder cattle prices are expected in the fall with an increase until December.

Supper followed these speakers at 6 p.m. with the keynote speaker beginning at 7 p.m. This year Greg Johnson, The Storm Chaser, took to the stage to discuss what he does and show photos of his experiences throughout the world.

Overall the day was well received by all. Much information was put out for farmers and ranchers to consider, while contradicting views created a dialogue amongst many present.



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