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China's hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm
Fresno Bee ^ | June 27, 2014 | Stuart Leavenworth & McClatchy Foreign Staff

Posted on 06/28/2014 4:12:12 PM PDT by blueplum

JENSEN, UTAH — It’s easy to find the largest Chinese-owned hay farm in the United States. It sits 189 miles east of Salt Lake City, on a stunningly scenic bend of the Green River. After driving past the only gas station in Jensen, population 400, a visitor crosses the river, turns left and is soon surrounded by a meticulously managed, 22,000-acre ranch, lush with green alfalfa.

Nearly all of it is destined for China. :snip:

Simon Wen Shao, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen who’s a co-owner of the Utah alfalfa farm, acknowledged that locals had acted warily when his company purchased the ranch. Friends of his farm manager, Frank Biggs, immediately chided Biggs for “working for the communists.”

Shao said those concerns had eased as his company had attempted to build ties in the community, buying new farm equipment and modernizing the ranch. One of his first steps was to rename the historic property “Escalante Ranch” after the previous owner had dubbed it “Thunder Ranch.”

“I think local people liked that decision,” he said during a tour of the farm. “It sounds better than Red Dragon Ranch.”

:snip:

Michael J. McKee, a Uintah County commissioner, said that many local growers recognized that foreign demand for alfalfa helped raise the price for their crop, aiding the county’s farm economy. Still, McKee acknowledged he’d heard from a few constituents who want “our land here to be held by American farmers.”

(Excerpt) Read more at fresnobee.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: china; farmland; utah; waterrights
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Lengthy article. Should private American farm/ranch/orchard land be held only by American farmers? Is the exported cost of alfalfa being held artificially low by current trade policy? Is the price of alfalfa at the feedstore held artificially high because of that same trade policy?
1 posted on 06/28/2014 4:12:12 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: blueplum

Way things are going we will all work for the Chinese one day. Gee, thanks Obama!


2 posted on 06/28/2014 4:15:42 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

I’d like to hear from the free traitors on this post. (crickets)


3 posted on 06/28/2014 4:18:05 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: OftheOhio

Here is my free trade comment: if you can’t compete, you do not deserve it in the first place.


4 posted on 06/28/2014 4:24:53 PM PDT by sagar
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To: blueplum
Is the exported cost of alfalfa being held artificially low by current trade policy? Is the price of alfalfa at the feedstore held artificially high because of that same trade policy?

I'm curious. How did you get either of these from the article?

The only "trade policy" discussion was with regard to shippers giving extra-low rates to goods headed back across the Pacific to avoid deadheading. That's a company policy, not a national one.

There may be a good discussion to have on the topics you bring up, but not based on this article.

5 posted on 06/28/2014 4:27:26 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: OftheOhio

It makes sense for the USA to sell what it can to China.

I gather that alfalfa growing is not a Chinese thang. Lots and lots of rocky ground. So we sell them alfalfa and they sell us cheap trinkets.

I wonder if some day we will sell California to China.


6 posted on 06/28/2014 4:28:50 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: sagar

Compete against third worlders, we see where that’s headed. That’s why many of us in our 50’s have been sidelined despite years of experience.


7 posted on 06/28/2014 4:30:03 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: OftheOhio

What do you want to hear? If you want some alfalfa, buy it. Don’t go running to Uncle Sugar for help.


8 posted on 06/28/2014 4:32:20 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: vladimir998

America could certainly stand to perk up.

I keep on hammering on this to some people’s disgust, but it’s true. A consciousness of the love of the Lord would propel America back to greatness again. This is known as the gospel message; yes it manifests in individual salvations but it manifests in shareable blessings too.

If we drop this on the floor it isn’t God’s fault. It’s ours.


9 posted on 06/28/2014 4:32:31 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: OftheOhio

It’s amazing how quickly belief in a free market evaporates when it affects one personally in a negative way.


10 posted on 06/28/2014 4:32:35 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: OftheOhio

So go into the alfalfa business or something... if you can get China to love nothing but moo shoo beef, more power to you.


11 posted on 06/28/2014 4:33:27 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: blueplum

I’d rather they buy our alfalfa than our technology (which they then copy).


12 posted on 06/28/2014 4:33:45 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: Sherman Logan

Sometimes imaginations are lacking. Maybe you’ll have to hang up that buggy whip production works. But it could be parlayed into upholstery factories. Etc. and similarly.


13 posted on 06/28/2014 4:35:07 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

They aren’t set up to be able to farm like the US can. They can’t live on cheap plastic trinkets forever.


14 posted on 06/28/2014 4:36:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: blueplum

I know a guy who just gave away 140 bales of last-year’s alfalfa (to a horse-rescue outfit) because he couldn’t sell it, and needed the room for this year’s crop.


15 posted on 06/28/2014 4:41:54 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: blueplum

Never could understand this push to move all our economy overseas.

Of course, Red China has so little arable land, they have to import feeds. What is silly is that a lot of that Red China ag ends back here in US....we could use the feed to feed US cattle


16 posted on 06/28/2014 4:43:04 PM PDT by DisorderOnBorder (Hollywood...Washington DC for pretty people)
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To: OftheOhio
Do we have unfettered access to Chinese market? No? Then what free trade are you talking about?
17 posted on 06/28/2014 4:43:06 PM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: deadrock

It isn’t an all or nothing game here.

There are things that China wants that the US is well positioned to furnish. And they aren’t totally stupid about it.


18 posted on 06/28/2014 4:46:46 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: blueplum

It is time to let Chinese cattle ‘starve’. No alfafa until we have unfettered access to Chinese markets on every thing.

And if I want alfalfa for my horses, I want it at the same price the F’n Chinese are paying, less shipping costs, of course!


19 posted on 06/28/2014 4:47:43 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: Sherman Logan

It has not only effected me, but millions other of my countrymen. Since when haven’t Americans always been screwed in any free trade agreements. From the Japanese getting their cars through as trucks back in the 70’s by taking the back seats out to millions of electronic jobs sent to Mexico in the 80’s. I can list a bunch of other examples too.


20 posted on 06/28/2014 4:48:31 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: Sherman Logan
*I'm curious. How did you get either of these from the article?*

from this:

The other: How could it possibly make economic sense to ship a bulky product such as alfalfa hay 7,000 miles to China?

The answer, said Zhang, involves the enormous U.S.-China trade imbalance. Because China ships so many goods to West Coast ports,

without an 'enormous...trade imbalance' there wouldn't be all those empty container ships offering large discounts for China-bound freight. It's only because of the large discounts that exporting alfalfa becomes profitable. Foreign demand drives domestic price.

21 posted on 06/28/2014 4:49:47 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

Careful. You are arguing for a free trade agreement with China.


22 posted on 06/28/2014 4:50:22 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: vladimir998

“Way things are going we will all work for the Chinese one day. Gee, thanks Obama!”

Thank Clinton first...he started this atrocity. And remember that ‘Clinton’ equals both ‘Bill and Hill’.


23 posted on 06/28/2014 4:50:37 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: blueplum

And now we are getting to the nut of the problem: how high do you think we should raise taxes on ourselves so that alfalfa farmers can charge us more for their product?


24 posted on 06/28/2014 4:52:41 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: deadrock

Thank you Deadrock,
Maybe some will get it. I’m tired of Americans getting shafted in any FREE trade we do.


25 posted on 06/28/2014 4:53:02 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: blueplum

Are they taking water or wetlands that is needed by some endangered species?


26 posted on 06/28/2014 4:53:52 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: 1rudeboy; OftheOhio
A Chinese guy is improving our trade deficit with China?

Should that be allowed?

I'll wait for the Buchanan Brigade to chime in.

27 posted on 06/28/2014 4:54:30 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Science is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: OftheOhio

“Compete against third worlders, we see where that’s headed. That’s why many of us in our 50’s have been sidelined despite years of experience.”

People set up (legitimate) businesses to maximize shareholder wealth, not feeding egos. Competition can be local, national, or international. If you cannot compete, go whine with the gubmint to institute tariffs, taxes, penalties, regulations, and other crap that destroy a free, capitalist market economy.


28 posted on 06/28/2014 4:56:43 PM PDT by sagar
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Looks like they’re here already, and looking to pick your pocket. LOL


29 posted on 06/28/2014 4:59:17 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: blueplum

Mr. Shao’s citizenship is a fraud.

Let me know which side he’ll be on in a war with China.

Which tells you all you need to know about whether he should own our land.


30 posted on 06/28/2014 5:09:23 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: 1rudeboy
I don't think it's a matter of raising taxes but a matter for diplomacy and trade agreements. There shouldn't be a plethora of empty ships headed back to China - they should be filled to the gills with American product. It's not free trade if it's largely one-sided.

And then there's the side angle that, while the enviroweenies want to eradicate every cow from the prairie in the USA, we're raising crops to feed more cows elsewhere.

31 posted on 06/28/2014 5:18:59 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: sagar

So if America can’t be first then we don’t deserve to exist. Got it.

You’re a traitor.


32 posted on 06/28/2014 5:19:08 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

They really don’t even buy our technology to copy it. We pay them to build it and give them everything they need to steal it.


33 posted on 06/28/2014 5:20:11 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: sagar

You’re the TOOL I was looking for. I was an engineering designer most of my life. The companies I worked for made millions off of my talent and skills. Cannot compete, what an absolutely stupid statement. Americans put men on the moon because of guys like me. I was a NASA, AIR FORCE, DARPA designer. That’s right we can’t even put a man in orbit now, no thanks to tools like you I’m sure.


34 posted on 06/28/2014 5:20:31 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: blueplum
1. We don't have free trade with China.
2. You appear to be objecting that we are shipping stuff to China.
35 posted on 06/28/2014 5:21:35 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: OftheOhio

How much money do you want? Is it ok if I slip you a twenty now and then? Why get the government involved?


36 posted on 06/28/2014 5:25:26 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: OftheOhio

That’s great, but hardly a rebuttal to the OP’s comments. Since you feel you have a great grasp of economics, can you please explain how you would fix the problem you see?


37 posted on 06/28/2014 5:26:42 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: DisorderOnBorder

China produces 20% of the food in the world and has roughly 62% the arable land the US does.


38 posted on 06/28/2014 5:27:26 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: blueplum

I confess I don’t get it. If alfalfa is more valuable in China, why not just buy it at hay auctions like everybody else? Would growing it under contract to ship to China be OK? America’s a big place. Lots of foreigners own American farms, mostly Brits and Dutch, at least as of a few years ago.


39 posted on 06/28/2014 5:28:51 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Sherman Logan

‘It’s amazing how quickly belief in a free market evaporates when it affects one personally in a negative way”

Since when did I say I was a free traitor.


40 posted on 06/28/2014 5:46:03 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: driftdiver

Actually, Red China has about 1/5 the arable land the US has...

A big problem w Red China....their prime growing areas are also quite prone to floods and earthquakes. One big one, and, there will be a lot of folks dead from starvation.

UN, WTO, NAFTA, NAU, TTIP....none of them won’t be able to remedy that


41 posted on 06/28/2014 5:58:58 PM PDT by DisorderOnBorder (Hollywood...Washington DC for pretty people)
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To: OftheOhio

You’re not a traitor, you are a patriot! How much money do you want from me?


42 posted on 06/28/2014 6:00:53 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: DisorderOnBorder

According to the world Bank it’s about 60%


43 posted on 06/28/2014 6:01:59 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: 1rudeboy; Tijeras_Slim

There actually is a detail here being overlooked. Growing alfalfa takes water. A very precious commodity in the West. I open this point up to debate - is this an indirect way of diverting that resource? Given the water needs in the West, is that wise? I lived out West, I know a bit about water concerns.


44 posted on 06/28/2014 6:18:47 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dinodino

I got a rebuttal, the Japanese destroyed eight of our top ten industries in the late 70’s, early 80’s. I still haven’t figured out who benefitted by that. All we had left was chemicals and aerospace. And aerospace has been under a major assault this last couple of decades. I saw perfectly good aircraft sent to the boneyard the last few years I worked in aerospace. One that had a major “glass” Cockpit renovation (digital) and was a flying testbed. “Dead Ted”
politics, in Ohio mind you.


45 posted on 06/28/2014 6:19:14 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: dirtboy

That’s a good question. I don’t know if this farmer gets his water for “free,” or not.


46 posted on 06/28/2014 6:22:00 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: OftheOhio

Sorry, how exactly did the Japanese destroy these industries? Did they send bombers over and level the factories? Whom is assaulting aerospace? Is Airbus sending over bombers to Seattle and Everett?


47 posted on 06/28/2014 6:23:47 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: 1rudeboy
Water watchers concerned about amount of hay going to China

He says because of subsidies and old water rights, farmers don't pay the true cost of their water, especially the environmental costs. As the water supply for cities gets stretched ever thinner, he'd like to see restrictive water laws loosened up so there's a truly free market.

"If you were to allocate an acre-foot of water to a high tech industry in California, it would produce 16,000 jobs or there abouts," Graham said. "Allocate the same amount of water to growing alfalfa, it produces about eight jobs in the entire chain. So it's 2,000 times more efficient to move the water, and yet our laws don't allow it."

48 posted on 06/28/2014 6:25:07 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: 1rudeboy

1. We don’t have free trade with China.

then why even argue free trade principles when it comes to exporting to China?

2. You appear to be objecting that we are shipping stuff to China.

Nope. They can have all the alfalfa they can afford - at a hugh premium, called tarriff-added = which won’t affect local prices since it will be the gubment collecting it. Now if they want brocolli...

In the midwest last year, alfalfa prices doubled (blamed on the drought but hey, maybe it was China demand). What small farm is not going to be hurt with feed costs doubling in one year?

http://brownfieldagnews.com/2013/05/03/alfalfa-hay-prices-up-substantially-in-the-midwest/

and what happened at the local grocery store in response? Well let me ask, seen any 99cent/lb USA ground beef lately????.

So how is that free-trade working for us, exactly, when it’s not free trade? And how’s the associated tarriff-free policy working out for to our benefit (which is what capitalism is all about, right, our benefit)? Not so well. And yet we argue for continuing to apply free-trade principles anyway and expect things to sort itself out somehow? Mkay. Let me ponder that while I bite into the steak that just cost me $7/lb.


49 posted on 06/28/2014 6:26:44 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: blueplum
then why even argue free trade principles when it comes to exporting to China?

Who is doing that? I would imagine that a farmer knows best how much to charge for his product. No need for the government, or you, to get involved.

Beef is more expensive, we all know that. Do you want to blame "free trade," or do you want to consider what is making beef more expensive?

50 posted on 06/28/2014 6:37:05 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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