Management systems and business acumen may assist ailing farmers in turning a profit ("Bitter Harvest," May), but those factors alone will not be able to replace the attribute most often missing in today's agriculture: common sense.
Traditionally, U.S. farmers have strived for a balanced production of both livestock and crops and worked to secure certain markets for their production. By monocropping and eliminating livestock from their operations, farmers have become more specialized. They have also left marketing up to the "system" and the U.S. government. Farming is the same as business in this way: If your strategy is wrong, you will fail. For the past 40 years, our agriculture strategy has pointed toward destruction. We still have some of the best farmland in the world, but unfortunately not enough good farmers.