We are irrigated cotton, grain and livestock producers from central New South Wales, Australia, and we have just read your article about Calcot's over advance payment problems on the Internet. You quote Mark Bagby of Calcot saying U.S. producers are locked into a loss at 43 U.S. cents a pound while Australian growers are making a good profit at 86 (Australian) cents.
What garbage!!!! 86 cents Aussie is exactly 43 cents U.S., and we are making a loss also! And we receive no subsidy AT ALL from our government — your U.S. $150,000 subsidy would look very nice sitting in my bank account and I would not be complaining about it one bit.
Costs are killing us here too. Case IH 2555 pickers cost A$300,000, anhydrous ammonia is A$750 per tonne, diesel fuel A$2.00 a US gallon, labour A$15.50 per hour.
The only way we are surviving is by growing high yields (3.7 bales per ac.) of high quality cotton over reasonable size areas.
So please inform Mr. Bagby of his errors and ask him not to blame us for Calcot's problems. We are all struggling farmers in this global village, and remember it is a lot tougher farming without subsidies.
Tony & Sally Quigley
New South Wales
PS We enjoy reading your stories over the Net…it keeps us up to date with what is happening in rural USA.
I would suggest to you that if you can't address our president with more respect than “Dubya” (July 7 issue of Western Farm Press), then you shouldn't refer to him at all.
I've been reading your column for some time now and I must say that you seem quick to blame all the rest of us in America for California's problems while never ever mentioning the environmentalist movement so strong in your state. I for one figure that if California wants a socialist government then they can have it, but leave the rest of us alone!
I farm in Southeastern Arizona, far from the Arizona/California border, far from your cities and dirty air, far from the perverts in San Francisco. Don't try to saddle me with your problems; fix them yourself.
Tedd R. Haas