Down on the Farm

August 25, 2022

August 25, 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-

I have been on the farm in Illinois since last week’s radio commentary. It is always so exciting to
see the beautiful fields of corn and soybeans. Unless we get hit with destructive weather, we
should have a good yield.

I love driving down the country roads past farms where I grew up. Memories of their families -
the kids that my sisters and I played softball and basketball with. We rode ponies together in the
woods hunting squirrels. We rode to our one room country school. It’s not there anymore. Been
gone for 30 years. A lot of those families are gone too. Over the last 70-80 years farms have
grown in size. Our 200-acre farm was a pretty good size then. Today, to operate 500 acres, one
thousand acres or more isn’t unusual. Consolidation is what has been happening. We have bigger
tractors, combines to harvest. When I was 6 years old my dad was picking ears of corn into a
wagon pulled by one of our work horses named Burt. Burt and our other work horse Bill pulled
the 2-row corn planter. We had pigs in the old days. We still raise pigs today.

The farming business like almost all businesses has changed. We have technology that no one
even imagined in the old days. It makes me feel a little sad to watch the consolidation. In the
ranch country out west ranchers are growing in size. Rich people that have so much money will
buy land as an investment or a country escape. Now I have been reading that other countries are
buying our farm and ranch land. China is at the top of that list. It is possible that we may need to
put a stop to this foreign intrusion. Our farms are national security. I really enjoyed the visit to
our farm. We have 5 farm workers operating 4,000 acres and raising 4,000 happy hogs. We are
all excited about harvest which will begin in less than a month. I will go back then.

Now – some other issues. Because of the Russia-Ukraine war the Ukrainian food exports are cut
in half compared to last year. Russia is still allowing export ships through the Black Sea. Hope
we can keep that door open. There are a lot of hungry people. The annual crop tour is in process
this week with dozens of farm leaders walking corn and soybean fields to estimate the yield. The
yield that they come up with will influence market prices. But we won’t really know until the
crops are harvested.

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