HARD TO FIND HART
I am looking for the Hart Carter Corporation that made finger reel cutter bars. Any information would be helpful.
Hart Carter Corporation is now listed as HCC. Contact HCC at 1501 1st Ave., Mendota, IL 61342, 815/539-9371. (Press “2” for paddle bars and “4” for purchasing.)
GRAIN DRYER PARTS
What is the address of the company W.B. Sturgis? The name is on the hoses connecting our grain drying system. They were part of a new dryer we purchased recently supplied by the GSI Group.
Contact GSI Grain Systems, 1004 E. Illinois St., Assumption, IL 62510, 217/226-4421, www.grainsystems.com/gsi/index.htm.
THE ETHANOL DEBATE
I would like to point out a couple of problems with the statements about David Pimentel printed in the October issue of your magazine [“NCGA defends ethanol,” page 5].
I have heard David Pimentel suggest during a seminar at Cornell that some forms of biotechnology might be very beneficial. He cited reduced pesticide use as one example. I am not aware of any “anti-biotechnology” papers published by him or his student seminar.
The NCGA Web site you suggested says this of Pimentel: “Pimentel also produced a study in 2000 that claimed milkweed leaves dusted with heavy concentrations of Bt corn pollen are toxic to Monarch butterfly larvae, a notion that was disproved and soundly rejected by the scientific community.” Besides the inaccuracy of this statement about the toxicity of heavy concentrations of Bt corn pollen, the NCGA writer apparently never read the paper. Here is a quote from that 2000 paper in PNAS that Pimentel and Peter Raven published and which is cited by the NCGA as evidence of his lack of scientific credibility: “Considering the enormous damage caused to human health and to biodiversity through the application of pesticides, it is clear that all efforts should continue to improve crop productivity while reducing the amounts of pesticides applied. In this connection, plants genetically modified to produce Bt endotoxin or other toxins clearly have an important role to play.” Pimentel and Raven questioned many of the techniques in the pollen dusting papers and suggested that some elevation in mortality from Bt corn might not be very relevant.
Calling Pimentel an “anti-biotechnology” researcher is therefore absolutely incorrect.
Another issue in the NCGA Web site is the long list of opinions espoused by David Pimentel that are supposed to show why he is not a credible scientist, including that he thinks immigration should be limited and that the U.S. population is too large for our natural resource base. His training as an entomologist and not as an agronomist is also presented as reasons why his ethanol efficiency calculations are not to be trusted. That is not a scientific disagreement but looks more like a politically correct smear campaign. If Pimentel's calculations are wrong, then the NCGA should have presented better ones and explained them, not implied that he cannot be believed because he has the “wrong” opinions on clearly unrelated issues.
Frank J. Kutka
ND/SD SARE Coordinator and Asst. Director
Dickinson Research Extension Center
North Dakota State University