Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 07, 1981, Image 46

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    B6—Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 7,1981
Co-op Council voices
concern over fuel decontrol
National Council of Farmer
Cooperatives today voiced grave
concern over President Reagan’s
sudden move to decontrol crude oil
and petroleum products
Council President Keith D
Naden said, “we are particularly
worried about the impact of
decontrol on farm fuel supplies ”
Although fuel supplies appear
adequate for spring planting, said
the co-op leader, shortages could
develop quickly if the Iran-Iraq
war persists
“By terminating the Emergency
Buy/Sell Program,” he added,
“the Administration has removed
the only means of dealing with
crude oil shortages in a timely
fashion ”
Naden indicated serious crude
oil disparities are present now m
the international market A nme
dollar range in crude oil prices
remains unsolved, he declared,
and co-ops are facing costs at the
upper end of that range
‘ This means that American
farmers are being forced to pay a
disaproportionate share of higher
fuel prices, and it threatens the
viability of the rural petroleum
system ” Higher food prices
ultimately result
Noting that cooperatives supply
about 45 percent of all on-farm
fuel, Naden urged the Ad
ministration to retain the
Emergency Buy/Sell Program
until it can be replaced by new
legislation He also urged that the
program be modified to deal with
serious economic inequities
For the longer term, Naden
urged adoption of a policy to
maintain effective standby
programs which ensure fuel supply
for agriculture and provide timely
access to crude oil at competitive
prices for cooperatives and other
efficient refiners
Naden pointed out the
vulnerability of the co-op supply
system to disruptions.
He recalled in the spring of 1979,
when Iranian crude oil stopped
flowing, co-op refiners were forced
to run at 50 percent of capacity
while the industry average was 85
“Farmers weie extremely
fortunate to get their crops planted
in the midst of sharp fuel shor
tages,” he said, “and after some
delays co-op refiners got additional
Tool Mates
0 __
Saddle Mates
, ancaster truck bodies
lc i-osier automobile spring co, me
crude oil under the Buy/Sell
Program ”
The co-op leader also noted that
in 1980, co-ops experienced crude
oil cost inequities approaching $4OO
million, with the burden falling on
the farmer-owner
He said the federal government
recently recognized this situation
as a serious access problem in
granting emergency rehef under
the Buy/Sell Program to co-ops
and other independent refiners
during December and January
Additionally, said Naden, Senate
Energy Committee Chairman
James A McClure indicated last
week that new steps may be
considered to protect farmers and
refiners from immediate decon
Senator McClure, he said, was
particularly concerned that
planting narrow-row soybeans this
season should first study the
management skills necessary for a
successful narrow row program,
says Charles Laible
“For best performance, I would
recommend earlier planting of
sohd seeded beans,” he says
‘Also, good seedbed preparation
and a relatively accurate planting
depth are necessary for good stand
establishment and to prevent
Laible, a Funk Seeds breeder,
says soybean seed size varies from
variety to variety
“When you talk about planting
pounds of seeds per acres, one
variety may have 1800 seeds per
pound and the next may have 3000
seeds. I think it’s very important to
plant seeds per acre, not pounds.”
For 30-inch rows, Laible
recommends planting about 10
seeds per foot of row, or 170,500
seeds per acre. Seven-inch rows
should get three seeds per foot of
row, or 225,500 seeds per acre
New data just released by Laible
confirms the yield advantages of
solid seeded or narrow-row beans
Job-planned. User-preferred.
1 ~7.,
Dial Toll Free 800 732-0004
310 Richardson Drive
Lancaster Hempfield Industrial Park
PO Box 4626
Lancaster PA 17604
717 394 2647
Plant solid-seeded soybeans early
Reading pick
up enclosures
and parts-and
tool boxes con
vert any standard
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Choose from
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consumers at the tail end of the
petroleum supply system could
face severe shortages.
Naden noted recent Department
of Energy actions and statements
by Hill energy leaders had led co
op refiners to believe that
policymakers recognized the
seriousness of farm energy supply
needs and the importance of
dealing with them
“The stark reality is that the
cooperative petroleum is
deteriorating because of the
serious problems which it is ex
periencing,” Naden asserted
“In view of these circumstances,
we fail to understand the Ad
ministration’s action Un
fortunately, farmers, our U S food
system, and ultimately consumers
stand to lose if this gamelb fails ”
Three years of research testing
compared performance of
soybeans in 30-inch rows, 7-inch
rows, and bi-equidistant 4-inch by
4-inch plantings
"We saw yield in
crease of 10 percent in the 7-inch
rows over the 30-mch rows,”
Laible reports. ‘The 4-inch by 4-
inch planting outyielded the 7-inch
planting by another 10 to 20 per-'
“The data demonstrates a
significant yield advantage in bi
quidistant soybean planting,” he
says, “but farmers are not able to
implement this system with
available equipment.”
In his trials, a conventional
plateless planter was used to plant
the 30-mch rows, 7-inch rows were
drilled, and the 4-inch bi
equidistant plantings were made
by hand. This spring, however, the
company hopes to have a
specifically for 4-mch plantings to
enhance their research
capabilities and prove the
system’s potential
“The movement to narrow-row
soybeans has been gaming
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KEYED ADS (ads with
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Deadline Thursday
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Lancaster Farming
P 0 Box 366
Lititz, PA 17543
717 394 3047
or Lititz
717 626 1164
momentum over the past several
jears," says Laible In aieas
where farmers have a good handle
on weed control, with pre- and
postemergency herbicides, I
certainly expect to see more of
them go to solid seeding It pays-m
both yield performance and
profit ”
Close plantings mean higher
plant populations Canopj closuie
occurs sooner, available sunlight is
intercepted rather than allowed to
be absorbed or reflected by the
soil, and shade keeps weed
problems down and lowers soil
temperature significantly
‘Some scientists say a soil
temperature that is too high will
slow down micrbial nitrogen-fixing
activity,” says Dr Laible ‘lf you
can keep the soil and roots cooler,
the plants will perform better ”
When choosing a variety of
narrow-row planting, however,
Laible cautions not all are suitable
There are certain varieties that
do not respond to the solid seeding
environment Regardless of
management practices, some
varieties will yield the same or less
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when planted in narrow rows as
when planted in conventional row
widths Williams, for example, will
not perform better when solid
seeded,” he adds
Laible says all of his proprietary
soybeans on the market perform
well in narrow rows
‘ln addition, all of the material
in our advance trials is tested
under both conventional and
narrow row widths This way we
can identify specific varieties that
respond well to solid seeding
management ”
Narrow-row planting saves fuel
and harvest equipment wear and
tear because the ridges formed by
cultivation are eliminated
However, costs must be added for
herbicides, extra seed and the rent
or purchase of a gram drill.
A significant reduction in soil
erosion is also a benefit of the solid
seeding system
‘Even so,” Laible stresses,
with beans currently in the $8
bushel range, a modest increase in
yield of three to six bushels an acre
could mean a $25 to $5O per acre
increases in income.”