World Food Prize

October 10, 2013

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by  Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm  economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

All the talk here in Washington, D.C. is about the risk of default and the concern about  shutting down the government. I’m not going to try to outline the process that will solve this  impasse. However, I do predict that we will not default and we will raise the debt ceiling. And I  hope we do something to put a lid on our growing debt. Enough on that subject for today.

Let’s talk about farm stuff. I am on the farm this week harvesting corn and soybeans.  Here is what I see.

The tall, sturdy stalks of corn are standing like trees. The crop is so healthy. No disease.  No corn bore. No root worm damage. No weeds. It is a beautiful sight. We planted and raised  this corn crop with far less tillage than we did 20 years ago. Less fuel. Less greenhouse gases  released. Much less labor.

Our yields are triple what they once were. And the American consumer has the bounty of  the most inexpensive and safest food in the world. How did this happen? What is behind this  revolution? The answer is genetically engineered crops.

Next week in Des Moines, Iowa, the World Food Prize Foundation will honor three  scientists that gave us this bounty. The World Food Prize recognizes scientists and leaders that  have given us major advances in global food security. I look back to 1970 when Norman  Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, leading the “green revolution” which increased  food production and saved millions from starvation in India.

One of the awardees this year is Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer.  Fraley said, “For many, it will serve as a base for legitimizing the adoption of the technology in  countries and crops around the world.”

Turning the spotlight on the value of GE crops is very important because the critics are  out there on the attack. The growing population of the world can not be fed without the adoption  of new technology. We can never produce enough if we farm the way we did when I was a kid.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.