Congress at Work

August 11, 2022

August 11, 2022

Hello, everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now today’s commentary-

In my commentary last week, I said that I did not think we could escape rising inflation any time soon. Projections from the University of Illinois tell us the ag industries income numbers last year will be cut in half this year and another dive in 2023.

Fertilizer costs are two or three times what we saw last year. Now we have more talk about limiting the use of nitrogen. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has imposed new regulations to reduce the amount of fertilizer to raise Canadian crops. He wants to cut nitrous oxide emissions by 30% by 2030. I reported last week that the European Union is trying to limit the use of modern technology and nitrogen plant food. They want more organic food production. Farmers in the Netherlands are furious.

Farmers can not feed the people of the world without using modern technology. Our Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh had this to say – “The Administration needs an all-government approach to creating more equitable access to food and to address the root cause of hunger by investing in long term solutions.” The global pandemic, trade restrictions, and the Russia-Ukraine war have all helped to give us a world food crisis. The Untied Nations tells us that worldwide hunger is on the rise – up to 828 million people. That is a 150 million increase in just 1 year.

I know we are trying to fight global warming, but we don’t want starvation either. The focus this week in Congress is the Inflation Reduction Bill. It passed the Senate by one vote provided by our Vice President. Republicans and Democrats were head-to-head – 50-50. Many of us didn’t believe that legislation would ever see the light of day. But by Friday this week it should be taken up by the House. Democrats have the advantage in the House. So, I would expect it to pass. Will it help to bring down inflation? Probably not. But it could pay for some helpful programs and reduce our deficit over the years. I just don’t like for our government to increase spending so much. It seems all we do is spend more and regulate more. I miss Ronald Reagan.

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