Yield Per Acre

Adam Smith called it the rent of the land, the individual farmer, the man on the spot, was best suited to get the most out of the land. Karl Marx, didn’t want to let the farmer do his own thing for fear he would rape the soil to produce as much as possible today and not worry about tomorrow.

The Rent: Today Illinois farm land goes for $425/acre the farmer produces 180 bushels on that acre and then sells it for $6 a bushel $6 x 180 = $1,080 less $542 for all that good fertilizer, pesticides, machinery, etc. he’s at $538 minus the $425 rent leaves him at the end of the harvest with $113 per acre profit.

Here’s where Karl Marx gets his, “I told you so’s.” Industrialized farming which started after WWI when Henry Ford introduced the “Farmall” tractor, has sent the topsoil downriver to the ocean. Each bushel of corn is another nail in the coffin of our sole source of revenue and wealth.

 Canada rye grass bends in hot summer winds just before sunset on the grassland. An unusually wet summer painted the prairie in lush green, an illusion in the unyielding dry July heat. I made this image while on assignment for All Animals Magazine, photographing the first relocation of prairie dogs from private to public lands. 

CRP Conservation Reserve Program reestablished by Ronald Reagan in 1985 will pay $150/acre to plant prairie grass – no pesticides, no GMO, no machinery, no fossil fuels, no exposure to chemicals, no crop dusters, no center-pivot irrigation, no sucking the Ogallala Aquifer dry – what’s not to like? What about FOOD?

Let the buffalo and 100% grass-fed cattle roam, repopulate the small towns of rural America with new wave immigrants and return the US to a paleo-1950 diet.