Re: a to-do list for the next century

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Mar 27 2000 - 19:10:19 MST

On Mon, 27 Mar 2000, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> The thing is, Zero, that in an economy the size of ours (which a single
> person cannot totally appreciate), a few million pounds of grain is the
> sort of waste you will get merely because the system that is already in
> place to discourage farmers from planting too much might be off on its
> estimates by a fraction of a percent, or if the estimated rainfall is
> off by a few percent.
> A good comparison is to compare the grain production of the US with the
> wood consumption of building a house. Most contractors and architects
> will budget in at least 10-20% overage for wood that is waste cuttings:
> its those ends of short wood that are useless, or wood that arrives with
> splits, knots, warps, theft, etc.. Using the current wastage of the US
> grain market, which deals with forces of nature that are far harder to
> estimate for and control than a supply of well cut wood, the contractors
> would have to improve their efficiency by a factor of two to four to be
> as good and efficient with their wood.

This is a pretty good point. The grain producers are quite creative at
finding things to do with their waste product locally (to avoid incurring
transport costs); dumping it is their last choice. Seeing as how U.S.
production of wheat and corn alone is on the order of 400-500 million
*tons* a year, a couple million tons of loss is actually quite acceptable
if you ask me.

-James Rogers

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