Saturday, August 15, 2009

News for Readers of Wrong Number

Have you read my novel, Wrong Number? I hope that's why you've found this page. If not, you're probably scratching your head. Guess you better go pick up a copy and find out what this all means.

My first romantic suspense novel, Wrong Number, is available on
Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Borders and many other online stores and also at a bookstore near you.

Publisher: Bonneville Books, March 8, 2010
ISBN: 9781599553641Wrong Number
List Price $14.99
My website: www.rachellechristensen.com

For those of you who already know the inside scoop--thanks for reading! I had so much fun putting together the conspiracy in Wrong Number. It took a lot of work, blending in different elements to make it realistic.

*SPOILER ALERT* Do not continue reading if you haven't read Wrong Number
 
(But even if you're sneaky and haven't read my book, this still won't give away "whodunit"!)

The New Governor of Nebraska is in the GREANE
greane
government programs green

I did quite a bit of research on ethanol production and the corn production in the states that comprise the "Corn Belt".

According to Wikipedia:

The Corn Belt is a region of the Midwestern United States where corn has traditionally been the predominant crop. Geographic definitions of the region vary. Typically it is defined to include Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio — approximately 50% of all corn grown in the U.S. is from these four states.[citation needed] The Corn Belt also includes parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, and Kentucky.[citation needed] The region is characterized by relatively level land and deep, fertile soils, high in organic matter.

You may find it interesting how much of a conflict the issue of ethanol production is for farmers in the Corn Belt. I found many arguments for and against increased ethanol production.

Here are a few sources of information that I found that you might find interesting. These links may expire after some time--if so, I'm sorry, but I've included the text of the article pertinent to the sources.

*Please note that I am not posting this information to shift favor for or against ethanol production. This is purely for your information and to help answer questions about what drove the conspiracy theories in my novel, Wrong Number.

http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo/asp/biotech_news.asp?yr=2008&newsId=nr20080710


According to the USDA, the growth of biotech variety use in Nebraska since 2000 has been dramatic. For example, biotech corn variety usage has grown from 36 percent in 2000 to 86 percent this year. Biotech soybean variety usage has increased from 72 percent in 2000 to 97 percent this year.
In 2000, the statewide average corn yield was 126 bushel per acre, compared to 160 bushels per acre last year. In 2000, statewide soybean yields were 38 bushels per acre, compared to 50.5 bushels per acre last year.
The USDA survey data further illustrate that biotechnology is providing "solutions for today's farmers in the form of plants that yield more per acre and reduce farmers' production costs while being resistant to disease and insect pests," said Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president of food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
Lauritsen said 282 million acres of biotech crops were planted in 23 countries by 12 million farmers last year.
"We expect this growing trend to continue, especially at a time when the United States and the world are looking for science-based solutions to rising food and fuel prices," Lauritsen said.

She said plant biotechnology has increased corn productivity more than 33.1 percent and soybean productivity has increased 17 percent.
Biotech crops have the potential to increase productivity by another 25 percent worldwide, Lauritsen said.
"The next generation of biotech crops, with resistance to additional diseases and environmental stresses like drought and the ability to better use soil nutrients, will boost productivity even more," Lauritsen said.
According to BIO, ag biotechnology has environmental benefits as biotech crop varieties require less cultivation and fewer pesticide applications. They also save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) air emissions, allowing for improved soil health and water retention.


http://www.nebraskacorn.org/usesofcorn/ethanol.htm


One Nebraska plant in 1985 has grown to 21 ethanol plants in early 2008 – and more plants are currently under construction and planned. Spread throughout much of the state, these plants have a capacity of more than 1.3 billion gallons. Combined, they consume about 500 million bushels of corn per year. By 2010, the amount of Nebraska corn going into Nebraska-based ethanol plants could reach nearly 700 million bushels.
There is little doubt that the growth of the ethanol industry has significantly changed rural Nebraska – providing good paying jobs, a good market for locally grown corn and a beneficial feed ingredient known as distillers grains that is of value for the local livestock industry. In fact, a typical 100 million gallon ethanol plant adds on average 50 jobs in the community where it is located, purchases about 37 million bushels of corn from local growers and produces about 320,000 tons of distillers grains (dried equivalent). It also generates nearly $4.5 million in tax revenue.



The devastation---seen with my own eyes, from a farmer
Posted by: zooeyhall on May 25, 2007 6:38 AM
I am a farmer in Nebraska, where I farm 160 acres of corn (a "small" farmer by any standard). I have lived on my farm for 50 years. I wish people could see up close the devastation to the local countryside that this ethanol frenzy has brought---and is going on as we speak. Landowners are ripping-out beautiful windbreaks and tree stands of cottonwoods and elms, these were windbreaks that were planted by the CCC back in the New Deal days, and getting the land ready to grow corn. This past winter, a factory hog farm came in and purchased a neighbor's farm. This farm was a beautiful piece of property with a grand 100 year old home and excellent buildings. They outbid all of the local farmers who wanted to buy it. Within 2 months they had completely stripped everything away--it's all gone. It just broke my 88 year-old dad's heart to see it. Other farmers around me are busy plowing-up grass pastures for corn production, land so hilly and highly erodable I never would have thought it could be used for growing row crops.
This corn-for-fuel thing has everyone in my area plowing-up their alfalfa fields. Alfalfa is an excellent low-input crop. Once it is established it pretty much takes care of itself, doesn't need any fertilizer or herbicides. It produces alot of protein and naturally enriches the soil. It takes a good two years after planting to get a crop from alfalfa, so with the dissappearance of these fields I don't care to think about the long term effect it is going to have on dairy farmers in my area, who need lots of locally grown hay.
I'm just a farmer and not good at writing, but I hope I have given Alternet's readers some idea about what is happening "out here". I wish I could post some pictures I have taken of the devastation.
New-built and proposed ethanol plants are going-up in the cities around me. No matter that they require enormous amounts of water in an area that is experiencing growing water shortages. The Platte River, which is about 10 miles from where I live, is a major gathering place for birds migrating to Canada. It has completely dried up in the summer months the past several years.
Our senators Nelson (D) and Hagel (R) beat the drum for ethanol production with every speech they make. But that is probably because Monsanto and ADM were big contributors to their campaigns.

* * *
So what do you think? You can see that the plot line was definitely realistic and based on events that are important to our economy right now.
I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have regarding my novel, Wrong Number. I'm currently working on a spinoff to this book, involving one of the major characters in a new setting.

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