April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

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 for today’s commentary –

From farm to fork the food industry is doing more than its share to hold inflation down.  The US Department of Agriculture projects only a 1 percent increase in the cost to feed your family this year.  The past 20 years the average annual increase has been 2 percent.  Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had this to say, “I intend to help USDA live up to our motto to do right and feed everyone.”

We are creative.  The food and Ag industry are changing all the time.  When I grew up we had to cultivate our corn twice.  Maybe hire high school kids to hoe the weeds.  Not today – we just spray a weed killer.  Weeds are gone.  Less trips over the field.  Less labor and double the yield.  The world will continue to produce an abundance of food with precision farming, genetically modified crops and new technology that we can’t imagine today.

I read that nitrogen fixing corn may be on the horizon.  That could really cut the cost of raising corn.  We are growing meat in the lab now.  We should not call it meat.

 Also, Burger King and some other fast food restaurants are selling the impossible burger.  You can order a Big Mac beef burger.  Or a plant based Schamberger.  No beef.

Reports say it tastes just like the real deal – Big Mac.  Combine the miracle of heme, a chemical found in animal blood with soy protein and we have a meatless burger.  Somehow the heme makes it taste like beef.  Farmers and especially cattle ranchers are not happy with Schamberger.  How many customers will buy the Impossible Berger instead of the beef burger?  The Impossible Berger cost more.

We have a growing number of people that say they want “natural” food.  They don’t want processed food.  Well, that new Schamberger doesn’t seem natural to me.  There is no limit to the creativity of a free economy.

Until next week, this is John Block reporting from Washington, D.C.  If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to