Where are We Going?

May 6, 2021

May 6, 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 –

It is exciting to see our planting season go smoothly so far. Our corn and soybeans are three-fourths planted and starting to come up. That is something that we can control, but the federal government is a different story. President Biden has announced that he wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2030. And Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “biofuels are a key piece of the plan.” Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Environmental organizations are no fans of ethanol and biofuels. I think that farmers and ranchers
will be happy to do our part to help. That is true even though we have always been skeptics of
climate change. A fact that you should know – agriculture is a small contributor to greenhouse gas
emissions. We contribute 10% or less, and “if you factor in land management and forestry
practices, agriculture produces net emissions of minus 2%.” “Animal agriculture’s share of US
GHG emissions is less than 3%” Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau tells us “a lot of
people don’t realize the gains that we have made in agriculture.” With the dramatic increase in
beef, pork, and milk production the per-unit emissions have continued to decrease.

Given the fact that we are already doing a very good job, we can do more. Increase conservation reserve acres and capture emissions from livestock waste. Another Administration statement raises concern. They want to “develop a plan to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030.” What does this mean? Sounds like more regulations. Some call it a “land grab”. There is so much up in the air right now. The President is implementing his $1.9 trillion relief package. The economy is booming but now we are debating a $4.5 trillion infrastructure bill and more social family programs. How are we going to pay for all of this? It may sound good to just tax the rich. Why aren’t we talking about user fees to pay for roads, bridges, and waterways? With the job market growing and family income going up, we need to limit how much more we spend on social welfare. Too much debt can strangle our good economy.

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