New Congress, Old Challenges

November 18, 2022

November 18, 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.

It took longer than it should to determine winners and losers in the midterm elections. Looks like Republicans will lead in the House and Democrats in the Senate. The first thing this new Congress must do is pass an extension of spending or our government will be shut down. Next year they need to write a new Farm Bill.

Sorry to say, but I don’t expect the new Congress to work together any better than the old one.
President Biden will be pushing the issue of climate change. I have not spent much time talking
about climate change on my radio program. I’m not convinced that we have any very good
answers. However, our government plans to spend billions of dollars on “climate smart
agriculture.” The Inflation Reduction Act passed last August authorized $19.5 billion to be spent
on the ag industry. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says it is “the largest investment in
conservation since the Dust Bowl.” Farmers will receive $95 million to encourage cover crops. I
am a big supporter of conservation. But there are still questions. Yes, we have had some extreme
weather. But what is causing it? Are greenhouse gas and carbon emissions to blame? The U.S.
and other world leaders think so. They say we need to take drastic and costly actions. I guess we
will have to wait and see what happens.

Here is another subject that earned all kinds of interest and excitement just a couple of years ago
– plant-based meat. The food industry was so excited about a new market. Tyson Foods,
Smithfield, Hormel, and others jumped into the new meat basket. McDonalds gave it a try. The
Stockholm Institute reported that the production of animal-based foods is responsible for 20% of
total green house gas emissions. Companies like Beyond Meat saw their stock surge. Two years
later now their stock has collapsed 80%. McDonalds gave up on plant-based meat. The global
appetite for real meat has doubled since 1990. A lot of customers are not happy with the process
of creating the new fake meat. Besides, it costs too much. And most of the public is not
convinced it is healthier to eat. They still want high protein real meat. I look forward to pork loin
for dinner tonight.

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