Some of the conventional boys in the Midwest just love to get their
mitts on a piece of organic land because they can farm it to the hilt
for several years and take advantage of the potent response obtained
by adding farm chemicals to healthy, resilient land. Usually they
try to rent it, not buy it, so they can dump it after five years when
the productivity's gone.
It's the same production response phenomenon that in the early 1950s
convinced people that farm chemicals were miraculous -- but that's
another whole story.
What I'd like to know is *WHY* the banker even cares about land
'value' at all in this circumstance. He should be lending on *cash
flow* not book value, but maybe he's too young to remember 1982.
I'm astounded that farmers and bankers still get themselves in
trouble by looking at book value instead of the innate productive
capacity of the land and the ability of the farmer to plan for profit
by keeping costs of production down in relation to yield. That's
something a lot of good organic farmers do, but in my experience it
doesn't seem to rub off on their soil, which for some reason
stubbornly insists on maintaining its fundamental strengths and
weaknesses regardless of who is bumbling along on the surface....
Bart Hall, National Center for Appropriate Technology
PO Box 3657, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72702, USA
"Restore the real meaning of words, to live in Truth." Vaclav Havel