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Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Ag and Us

Posted Monday, December 3, 2007, at 7:38 AM

We haven't given a whole lot of thought about what our farming neighbors will do that may effect us on the farm. Those crops that are growing around us didn't just pop up by themselves, so obviously noise and dust from planting, weed control, and harvesting operations are expected.

Now lets see...if you harvest something, unless you consume it you have to transport it to your market, so I'd expect some heavy truck and farm equipment traffic. We're currently on a school bus and postal route for farms in more distant areas, so those farmers and their associated traffic will pass by. Ag producers provide habitat for deer, upland birds, and the like, so the annual pilgimage of hunters into the area may well be exciting too.

We have not seen the results of a test of the water on the farm yet, but I expect that some interesting assortment of Ag and industrial chemicals have leached into the ground water over the past 150 years or so, and we'll be filtering our water much the same as a town water well supply does. No blame... you can't change the past, and from what we've been reading, our Ag neighbors sound just as interested in clean water and a safe environment as we are.

As a city dweller, our neighbors real effect on our lives was superficial but seemed important because we delt with it daily. Were the neighbor kids screaming again, was the guy behind us testing his high horsepower boat engine at midnight, or are the guys in the rental house across the street having another wild party this Saturday night? I'm pretty sure that all the Ag associated activity I mentioned will generate a fraction of the daily traffic and noise than we had living in a relatively quiet city neighborhood.

Still, I think the actions of our AG neighbors will have much more impact on our immediate lives than our city neighbors ever did but most city dwellers wouldn't see it that way. Most of the things that bother city folk simply don't exist in the country. For one thing my new Nebraska neighbors care about the neighborhood as near as I can tell... I haven't seen any graffiti.

OK seriously, I've read some pretty interesting stuff written by Nebraska farmers about the environment, water, and ethanol that show thoughtful insight about sustainable land usage, water, and energy policy. Local economies and the social fabric of the area is tied to Ag, and we can't wait to get settled in and meet our new neighbors. Beyond field operations, I can only speculate on how much impact our new Ag neighbors will have on our lives, but in reality, what they do around me effects you in SW Nebraska just as much.

So on those few days when my neighbors are plowing, spraying, harvesting, and whatever other farming operations are being performed, we'll just close up the windows and keep the dog inside. We had to do that almost daily in the city anyway when the neighbors were running amok.

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