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Across the editor's desk

Agriculture.com Staff 02/06/2016 @ 1:11am

A new study finds that Americans have nearly one third fewer close friends or confidants than 20 years ago. Sociologists from the University of Arizona and Duke University led the study.

Leaders of the research speculate that part of the decrease in size of close-knit circles is longer work hours and the influence of the Internet.

Would you agree?

While we may have fewer close friends, the Internet opens access to unlimited new contacts -- and new friends -- who can add value to our lives and businesses.

The 24 discussion groups of the Agriculture Online Web site are loaded with questions and requests for information on everyday problems and challenges you face. These posts often yield a dozen or more farmer-to-farmer solutions and ideas.

Here's a sampling from early August of what's on the minds of farmers and farm family members:

"How many different hybrids do you plant? I ordered seven hybrids for next year. This year I planted 11 hybrids. I think that was too many."

"Would like to know if anyone has had experience with drive-over augers for tractor trailers. Any experiences -- good or bad -- would be helpful."

"The corrugated steel roof on my 100-year-old barn keeps coming loose. It was nailed directly over the old wooden shingles with lead head screw-type nails. Can the old roof be fixed somehow?"

"I'm looking at cordless impact wrenches. I have a 1⁄2-inch AC model that is good for bigger jobs, but I'd like something slightly smaller for jobs that would often be done with a 3⁄8-inch ratchet. What's good?"

"Looking for a farm semi tractor. I know what I want for a truck, but I'm not sure on which engine -- Detroit, Cummins, or Cat. Which is best? Or is there not much difference?"

"My wife and I are thinking of doing some over-the-road traveling. For the last six months I've been looking at fifth wheels and motorized RVs. I'd like to hear your points of view."

"Just wondered if anyone else has feeders priced ahead. My steer calves are sold for $1.20 at 700 pounds; my heifers are sold at $1.15 at 650 pounds. I will deliver them in mid-December."

"I'm thinking of getting a new cell phone and would appreciate your experience. My old one is very basic. What features do you use the most?"

"I assume we will all be dealing with low-sulfur diesel fuel in road vehicles and maybe in off-road vehicles as well. What do you think about this stuff?"

"Is it possible to add a couple extra rings to existing bins? It would seem kind of tough to do so since the bottom ring has the out auger and floor in it, and the second and third rings have the door in them. Has anyone ever done this?"

"Do any of you have experience with reconditioned battery packs?"

"Our family is growing and we are looking for a used minivan. Would like to know your experiences -- both good and bad -- that might help us make an informed decision."

For answers and comments to these posts, visit www.agriculture.com. Post your own question. Respond to the questions of others. I know you have answers! Expand your worldwide circle of friends in farming.

A new study finds that Americans have nearly one third fewer close friends or confidants than 20 years ago. Sociologists from the University of Arizona and Duke University led the study.

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