July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

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 –

Last week on Thursday President Biden announced – “We have a deal.” I thought we would be
able to pass a $973 billion infrastructure bill to fix our roads, bridges, dams, and waterways. I
was shocked to learn on the weekend that the President said he would not sign without
Congressional approval of the $4 trillion family spending bill. This is crazy.

Let’s talk about something else. How about food? Retail prices are up but so is meat production. Pork production up 6.7%; Beef production up 7.5%; Chicken product up 4.8%. Total meat production up 5.5%. There is some good news for farmers and ranchers. In spite of all the excitement about plant-based meat substitutes – consumers still want real meat. They like the taste, protein, and it is natural. A recent survey shows less than 4% of shoppers buy plant-based meat while 2.4% buy chicken, 22% buy ground beef, 13% buy pork chops. The explosion in demand for fake meat may be losing some momentum.

Go west to California – That state wants to dictate to all the other states how we should raise our
hogs, our cattle, our chickens. If they want to dictate to their own citizens, okay. But to refuse to
accept imports from other states that may not fit the California production requirements is
outrageous. I thought we had free trade between states. There is an appeals court ruling coming
soon on this question. The American Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers are pushing
to shut the door on excessive California reach.

Biofuels are under constant attack from the oil industry. We are encouraging the EPA’s Michael Regan to limit the number of biofuel waivers. Iowa Senator Grassley says, “I’m counting on Regan for not liking fossil fuels like some previous administrations. That puts ethanol in a strong position.” Let’s hope Senator Grassley is right. I’m not so sure. I was on our Illinois farm last week. Crops look good. Fortunately, we were spared the wind and hail damage that some farms faced. A lot can happen between now and harvest.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to