Much discussion going on in Washington DC about too many things. Somewhere in all the fray is the Farm Bill, still entangled with the food stamp issue. I am not going to come down on either side of it on this blog. It does, however, affect planning.
Planning is essential, and low margin crops require careful planning. Private insurance is more expensive than Federal Crop Insurance, but if you are going to use it, your approach needs to be carefully screened. Your risk tolerance will be tested. As well, the Food Safety Act, will begin to dictate what we can and cannot do, often in conflict with the National Organic Standard. We could end up raising animal feed.
We are at a crossroads. Do we continue to be a small scale organic grain and flour miller or do we go with the path of least resistance, farm more land, and sell crops to Cargill? We have a plan in place and an alternative or two. The plan we continue to work is to remain small. It is our intent to grow to suit our market in the low to no gluten flour sector. (Is there such a sector?) We want to sell more rye flour and more grades of it. We cannot raise rice where we are, but we have sources for organic rice. Most other cereals we can raise with ease.
We are not too cozy with amaranth, as we already have a wild amaranth infestation. Our neighbors would be very upset if we encouraged it. On the other hand, it is growing in popularity and... it is a weed. A summer weed. We seem to have no trouble raising those.
In the meantime, the grain drill is waiting to be painted and reassembled. Rye four is selling slowly, but we knew that would be the case, We continue to build a local market. Hoping for wetter winter weather this year. The fall has started out well in that respect.