Lightweight Agronomic Calculators

    In the early 1950's my father worked at the U.S. Patent Office, and he said they had a policy: "No perpetual motion machines." You want my opinion of sustainable agriculture? That's my opinion of sustainable agriculture.

And here's why I can't be Secretary of Agriculture. I'd ask farmers what their crop sold for, and they'd say something like "Fifty cents a bushel." Then I'd ask them what their crop cost to produce, and they'd say something like "A dollar a bushel." And I'd say, "What are you, stupid?"

The attached are the sort of things you might expect from someone who wasn't raised on a farm, majored in agronomy simply because it sounded and was interesting, never picked up any notions (pop or otherwise) about how the husbandry of anything should be undertaken, doesn't have a farm, and does have a laptop. They are speculative in the extreme, like war-college seminar conclusions transported immediately to the battlefield, but unlike those, my ideas aren't going to get anybody killed. Why put this here, or anywhere? Because I feel like it. But also because agronomy is the complete opposite of environmentalism. They're both about the outdoors, but the former is optimistic, energetic, productive, the reverse of hostile to people, busy in fresh air instead of angry in a courtroom, and this aside, resourceful. Most agricultural policy may be about keeping perpetual motion machines going, but not all agriculture, and nothing on this site, is.