Organic debate

I think [some critics of organic farming are] missing the point of the organic debate. They overlook a few key elements that were a part of my decision to move from “conventional” to organic or sustainable production models.

I use tillage as one part of my weed control strategy. Cover crops, mowing, crop rotations, lime, soil fertility and mulch form the rest. To state that organic growers rely on one way to control weeds is to suggest that all “conventional” farmers only spray one type of chemical to control all their weed problems.

Most organic growers are that way because of their deeply held convictions that there is a better way to produce food and fiber than the “conventional” way. Not because it may bring them a higher price at market time, although I'll admit that is a nice bonus. I farm in this way because I would rather work in harmony with nature than fight it. I figure that the Creator set up the natural order for a reason. I'm grateful for those with the wisdom to try something “new” and bring back some of yesterday's practices and integrate them with the best of today's technology and research.

[Some critics say] the organic industry is dominated by environmental extremists of the left. Well, I'm not so sure. The majority of the folks that I've rubbed shoulders with and read of sound like pretty conservative folks to me. There are some in the movement that could be labeled as liberal extremists, and they usually do attract the media's attention. To suggest that all are alike is to refuse to see the forest for the trees. Besides, my customers dictate how I run my farm, not some leader of the “movement.” And I am not a liberal, in today's sense of that word.

If the trend continues, [organic production] may become a larger niche than “conventional” farming. We'll just let the consumer decide that one. They can still determine whether their food is high quality, tastes good, and is nutritious and safe for them to eat.
Terry A. Hill
Battle Creek, MI

Baler parts

Could you tell me who handles parts for Owatonna round balers?
J. Tollakson
via e-mail

Most baler parts may be purchased from Gehl Company, 143 Water St., West Bend, WI 53095, 262/334-9461, www.gehl.com.

Building name

I would like to put an addition on a building. The only name I can find on the existing building is “Steel American.” Where can I contact this company?
Gene Whipple
McHenry, IL

American Steel Buildings is located in Mattoon, IL. Call the company at 800/240-3688 or send an e-mail to info@americansteelmfg.com.

Sprayer company

I am looking for parts for Hahn Hi-Boy sprayers made in Evansville, IN.
Aaron W. Stumpf
Waterloo, IL

Try contacting Giles Farm Equipment, 1191 Lexington Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324, 502/863-3967.

Intercom repair

We use an intercom between the house and shop. However, one of the units can only receive and we need to find someone to repair it. The name on the product is GC Electronics.
Richard Kouba
Regent, ND

Contact Industrial Electrons Corp., 520 West McKinley Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212, indelect@excepc.com, www.execpc.com/industrialelectronics/gcelect/gcelect.htm.

How to reach us

Write to us at fin@primediabusiness.com; Farm Industry News, 7900 International Dr., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55425; or www.farmindustrynews.com (click on e-mail). We assume all letters to be for publication.