Foot Age

Quite the loaded word. It can mean square footage like in a house or apartment. Or a farm on the edge of town. I’ve heard of a farm selling for so much a square foot, city like. Settled like. I stumbled onto the word on You Tube. Which is ironic since when I think of You Tube I’m thinking of video. I don’t think video was spoken of in footage even when it was on video tape. Before DVDs. Footage on the silver screen or set harkens back to the days of film. A lot of film was sent out over the airways to TV sets across the nation back in Television’s early days.

Farm Tractor Footage was what the video I was watching on You Tube was titled and what my tag read on the link I was providing here on the blog. But it brought up a thought I’d had while driving by a neighbor’s planting rig on the way home from finishing up my planting with my vintage rig. His rig is only a few years old at the oldest, including the horse. His rig has individual row shutoffs guided by a satellite signal transmitted to the rig’s GPS receiver. My rig shuts off when I raise it across all the rows.

My rig was bought new during the go go happy days of the 1970’s Great Grain Robbery farm boom that ended when Carter cut the Soviets off for taking Afghanistan. His rig was bought brand new during the go go happy days of the 2000’s Great EPA’s Mandated Corn Ethanol farm boom. I’m farming by the swath and he’s farming by the foot. His swath being twice as wide as mine he would waste far to much seed if he overlapped the whole swath on an angle to get the last bit covered in seed. And any gaps in the seeding allows weeds to get a foothold.

The reason I’m bring this up is the farm sale they had a few miles south of here this last month or so. There was a young man who had been farming the family’s land for the last four or five years just getting started out. Times have changed and the family was shutting him off. He didn’t have the newest machinery but it wasn’t that old either. His planter had been updated to farm by the foot. The update had cost around eighteen thousand dollars. The planter, with it’s updates, sold for around seventeen thousand dollars.

Today with the expensive precise modern technology in farming we can go broke by the foot, precisely. Almost as if it were cooked into the cake. Just shake, and bake.

The reason I’m bringing this up is I heard last week that the county Sheriff had come out and seized all the assets of another young farmer who has been running high, wide and handsome, as my father used to say. It seems this young man had inherited a bunch of land, machinery, and livestock maybe ten years ago. Before the go go happy days of the Great EPA Mandated farm boom. That’s two young farmers broken in the machinations of the politically driven boom/bust cycles of agriculture. One shut off by their family, one shut off by their banker.

And we’re only getting started. Add in a little trickle down democracy, European style, and this could get interesting.