LETTER: Reader suggests another option in Facebook farmer-bashing scenario



I read your story about the Facebook post regarding the family that was interrupted at dinner time by the smell of ammonia (“I can’t believe that Facebook post, but I don’t know how to respond”).

First, the story keeps referring to the “spraying” of ammonia by the farmer in the field behind their home. Ammonia is the vapor that is released in the air during the application of NH3 or commonly referred to as “anhydrous ammonia,” which is a form of nitrogen fertilizer used for growing corn.

The application of NH3 is by injection into the ground via a knife with a hose attached and should be about 8-10 inches deep. Done properly, this accepted practice is safe and does not give off the smell of ammonia.

The term “spraying” was used exclusively in the story and this form of NH3 is NOT sprayed. My guess is there was some type of malfunction of the equipment or the method of application. The farmer in the tractor was probably in an enclosed cab and did not know of any issues.

Second, I disagree with all five suggested responses to the family involved.

If I were a farmer and lived nearby, I would search out the farmer involved and have a conversation with him about the Facebook post and attempt to set up a meeting with the homeowner. It’s critical that the farmer be approached first to get his reaction before bringing the two together to avoid any confrontation. Maybe it was an employee of the farmer and he surely would be interested in knowing.

I believe the five examples would be overpowering the homeowner with farmer opinion of agriculture rather than addressing why the ammonia smell occurred in the first place.

I do believe that farmers need to do a more thorough job of educating the urban dweller, as most of these people are second or third generation removed from the farm and have little knowledge of today’s farming practices.

Richard Hill
Medina, Ohio


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  1. urban dwellers and sidewalk people only want to hear the side of the who wrote or told the best story. Same with our gevernment and the courts. Come on if you ask the sidewalk people where the food comes from they will tell you from the store. They have no idea and most likely don’t care.

  2. It makes me laugh and get a little hot under the collar both,when I hear city people that has moved out to the country,complain about livestock,noise from machinery,coyotes,every thing that has to do with farming,ranching and country life..These city folks realy need to just sit back and enjoy life,listen to all the sounds and even smell the air once in awhile,,take in the beauty of a sunset,,maybe then they could start to enjoy life alittle more and have the peace and quiet they were looking for when the moved to the country.

  3. I think the city folks should just stay in the city, all they do out here is raise land prices and demand box stores closer to their driveway. That and complain to animal control that my livestock are mistreated because they are laying out in the field. Tired of trying to educate the ignorant. Don’t really want to feed them anymore either!


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