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Fuel prices affected your lifestyle or ranch management?

Whitewing

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I had a conversation last night with a buddy who lives in Alabama. He raises chickens.....not chickens for the table, but various breeds of chickens. There's apparently decent money for him there but he was telling me about how tough things were in the local town.

It got me to wondering about what a bind I'd be in if I had to pay world market prices for fuel for my ranch. We use a lot of fuel, diesel in particular. Fortunately it runs 2 or 3 cents per gallon there.

How have current fuel prices affected your spending habits and how you manage your place?
 

MsSage

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I see it from a different side. Shoer doesnt get any days off. Before he would take a 34 hour restart qhile here. Now he only stays the night and gets back to driving. Me if I can get away with not going into Clayton and Dalhart or farther is out of the question.
Prices have been going up ...too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices...Trucks gotta deliver the supply.
 

Whitewing

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MsSage said:
Prices have been going up ...too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices...Trucks gotta deliver the supply.

Indeed. It would be interesting to know how far the average head of lettuce, ribeye, or pound of rice has to travel before it hits the local grocery store.
 

High Plains

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Just from a personal perspective, I am driving much slower now than ever before and trying to limit the trips. I used to go wherever, whenever. No more!

I once saw a funny and all-too-realistic demonstration. A guy was talking to an audience and he had a tube of toothpaste that was all but used up. He asked the audience how many days could each of us get out of this last little bit of toothpaste. Several agreed that we could get a lot of days out of it still, if we rationed it out and just used enough to get the job done each time. Then he reminded us all how we typically begin using a brand new tube of toothpaste. We tend to put a nice, long ribbon of toothpaste on the toothbrush!!

Shouldn't we have been using less toothpaste even when it was in plentiful supply?
 

littlejoe

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Whitewing said:
MsSage said:
Prices have been going up ...too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices...Trucks gotta deliver the supply.

Indeed. It would be interesting to know how far the average head of lettuce, ribeye, or pound of rice has to travel before it hits the local grocery store.

Matt Simmons, investment banker to the oil patch, wrote "Twilight in the Desert--the coming world energy crisis"

He talked about things like OPEC quotas---which were based on opec country reserves---which instantly doubled as soon as this formula was put into place---and have basically never decreased, even tho they've been pumping for 40 yrs--and were artificial in the first place.

He talked about direct injection of ocean water into even the greatest oil field the world has ever known--abu gwabar. And several barrels of water are injected for each barrel of oil withdrawn.

Anyone familiar with the 'patch ougtha be horrified by this---normal (but often nasty) fresh water has to be treated and cleaned up before being reinjected---and it's hard on iron and about anything it's around---salt water would be much worse.

He talked about England's main sourec of apples---refrigerated ships from New Zealand--which go back empty.

He talks about how rail is 10X more efficient than road freight and water is 10X more efficient than rail---and fact that U.S. has let both deteriorate.

He expected immediate rebuttals---but his work was so well documented (a fairly dry read) that industry was speechless for mos. Then when you went to an industry deal, is was "Have your read Simmon's book?" "Where you at in it--what about this...etc?"

And like one poster kinda said---it maybe ain't that oil is too hi---it's maybe that is was too cheap for too long.

Anyhow----an excellent book for anyone interested.
 

nortexsook

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Twilight in the Desert was a good read. The 2000 mile Caesar Salad.

Matt Simmons died a year or so ago. Pretty young, too.
 

Whitewing

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LittleJoe, as you're already aware, America's economy was built on cheap energy. It's actually still cheap. We'll know when it gets too expensive by when the economy as we know it begins to crater.

Been a while since I looked at worldwide production figures but seem to recall it had plateaued around 84MM barrels/day. I saw projections that in 20 years with China and India coming on strong, that the world would need 120MM barrels/day. Personally, I don't think we can ever get there.

Peak Oil.

 

Gomez

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IMO, i think the oil supply/demand balance or "imbalance" will substantially change our economies. Lots of change will occur and lots of opportunity for low input protein production as long as we can get it to market. IMHO, Access to low cost transportation like rail will be important for processors and producers. Sounds like yesteryear.

:D
 

Whitewing

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Gomez said:
IMO, i think the oil supply/demand balance or "imbalance" will substantially change our economies. Lots of change will occur and lots of opportunity for low input protein production as long as we can get it to market. IMHO, Access to low cost transportation like rail will be important for processors and producers. Sounds like yesteryear.

:D

Low cost transportation like rail, producing products for sale close to where they're produced, and consuming products produced close to home are in our future. And yeah, I agree, sounds like yesteryear.
 

RSL

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Whitewing said:
Gomez said:
IMO, i think the oil supply/demand balance or "imbalance" will substantially change our economies. Lots of change will occur and lots of opportunity for low input protein production as long as we can get it to market. IMHO, Access to low cost transportation like rail will be important for processors and producers. Sounds like yesteryear.

:D

Low cost transportation like rail, producing products for sale close to where they're produced, and consuming products produced close to home are in our future. And yeah, I agree, sounds like yesteryear.

The more things change...
We are seriously working on driving the costs of oil where possible out of our business. The biggest costs savings here are in fertilizer/pesticide non use. We are also actively changing our farming management on the few acres we swath graze, moving to bale grazing on the bales we do feed, wintering calves out of corrals (saves fuel on corral cleaning and hauling bales into the corrals), and we have also just purchased a small Japanese truck for general farm use. We also are saddle horse users.
The other big thing that saves us a ton of fuel is that we graze standing forage for roughly 10 months of the year. This saves harvesting, hauling and cleaning up. We are also planning to experiment with rake bunching hay this fall.
I see an emerging competitive advantage for those who can raise livestock with limited fuel inputs. The older fashioned we get, the more in tune we may become.
 

High Plains

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The part that I disagree with a little is the part about raising food close to home. On the national picture it is still way more feasible to raise a lot of these commodities in the areas where production is highest and then ship it to a population destination for consumption. If railroad is 10 x cheaper than truck, the shipping part is still going to be feasible for a long time to come. Then again, I don't have the book on all of this. Just armchair thoughts.
 

Hayguy

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how's the japanese mini truck working for you? gas mileage around the ranch? i agree whats old is going to be new again :D :D
 

Larrry

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MsSage said:
too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices...Trucks gotta deliver the supply.

But did you notice how the last time fuel shot up that grocers upped food prices but when fuel and delivery costs went back down the grocery suppliers didn't lower their prices much if any.
 

Whitewing

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RSL said:
Whitewing said:
Gomez said:
IMO, i think the oil supply/demand balance or "imbalance" will substantially change our economies. Lots of change will occur and lots of opportunity for low input protein production as long as we can get it to market. IMHO, Access to low cost transportation like rail will be important for processors and producers. Sounds like yesteryear.

:D

Low cost transportation like rail, producing products for sale close to where they're produced, and consuming products produced close to home are in our future. And yeah, I agree, sounds like yesteryear.

The more things change...
We are seriously working on driving the costs of oil where possible out of our business. The biggest costs savings here are in fertilizer/pesticide non use. We are also actively changing our farming management on the few acres we swath graze, moving to bale grazing on the bales we do feed, wintering calves out of corrals (saves fuel on corral cleaning and hauling bales into the corrals), and we have also just purchased a small Japanese truck for general farm use. We also are saddle horse users.
The other big thing that saves us a ton of fuel is that we graze standing forage for roughly 10 months of the year. This saves harvesting, hauling and cleaning up. We are also planning to experiment with rake bunching hay this fall.
I see an emerging competitive advantage for those who can raise livestock with limited fuel inputs. The older fashioned we get, the more in tune we may become.

That's impressive RSL!!! You're really thinking way down the road and taking steps now to figure out how to get it done before the big crunch hits.
 

Whitewing

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High Plains said:
The part that I disagree with a little is the part about raising food close to home. On the national picture it is still way more feasible to raise a lot of these commodities in the areas where production is highest and then ship it to a population destination for consumption. If railroad is 10 x cheaper than truck, the shipping part is still going to be feasible for a long time to come. Then again, I don't have the book on all of this. Just armchair thoughts.

I agree HP that in some areas, doing it close to home may not ever be practical. No one's likely to grow a small plot of wheat at home in order to make bread.

But I suspect that even today there are tomatoes grown in California or Florida and shipped to Maine and Minnesota in the middle of the winter. I could easily see that in the future there will be many more locally grown veggies, even during the dead of winter.....via hothouses for example.
 

RSL

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hayguy said:
how's the japanese mini truck working for you? gas mileage around the ranch? i agree whats old is going to be new again :D :D
I pick it up in a week or two. It is undergoing its full out of province inspection. I need to be able to register it for the road to get the full benefits for us. They are rated at 50MPG, but I will even be happy at 40. They can also take quad rims and tires and are roughly the size of a polaris ranger, but with heat, cab and street legal. They are also much cheaper than a ranger or similar.
 
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"...too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices..."

It's ALSO too bad that many don't seem to realize the correlation between high-fuel prices by taking the time to notice how many are running around like chickens with thier heads cut off.

The few times I get out into the world, ALL I see are hyper-tensive people hitting it hard at EASILY 10, 20 and (sometimes) 30 mph over the posted speed limits.

Why ? does anybody actually KNOW why they are running so hard ? ? ?

I see mandatory 55mph speed limits coming back, whether anybody likes it or not.

The entire world NEEDS TO SLOW THE 'eff' DOWN.
 

Whitewing

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ltdumbear2 said:
"...too bad many dont see the correlation between high fuel prices and food prices..."

It's ALSO too bad that many don't seem to realize the correlation between high-fuel prices by taking the time to notice how many are running around like chickens with thier heads cut off.

The few times I get out into the world, ALL I see are hyper-tensive people hitting it hard at EASILY 10, 20 and (sometimes) 30 mph over the posted speed limits.

Why ? does anybody actually KNOW why they are running so hard ? ? ?

I see mandatory 55mph speed limits coming back, whether anybody likes it or not.

The entire world NEEDS TO SLOW THE 'eff' DOWN.

I've been here in the states since mid-March. Filling up a vehicle with $3.75 a gallon gasoline is quite the shock after normally paying $2.00 to get an entire tankfull in Venezuela.

One thing I've commented on a hundred times since being here is that these high prices sure haven't slowed many people down. I'm amazed at seeing folks leave a changing red light like someone had just fired a starting pistol. :D

Maybe I'm just getting old..........really old. :?
 

loomixguy

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From here it's approximately 150 miles to Lincoln, and that is taking 80 east from Grand Island. Should we take the 2 lane state highways to Lincoln, it's about 140 miles. I find myself more and more taking the 2 lane to Lincoln and back. The trip is maybe 15 or so minutes longer, but the reduced speed on the 2 lane saves more gas than you think, and the fact that hardly anybody is out & about on the 2 lane makes it far more appealing to me as I get older. The Big Road doesn't have the lure and appeal to me as it once did. Too many ID10T's out and about on the Big Road for my taste.
 

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