Posted on June 15, 2022
You don’t need to be a vegan to know that livestock and poultry aren’t “harvested,” the squeaky clean verb that’s become fashionable among farm and ranch groups to minimize the end–as in The End–of most animals their members grow.
Soybeans are harvested; pigs are slaughtered. Wheat is harvested; cattle are slaughtered.
It’s not a minor point, insists […]
Posted on May 6, 2022
Contrary to the woeful baying by Big Agbiz, the United States–and any nation with enough money–will not run out of food this year. This can be said without reservation for two reasons.
First, war or no war, there is no global shortage of wheat, the crop today’s Chicken Littles are cluck-cluck clucking about. In the last […]
Posted on March 18, 2022
One of the most beautiful–and inexplicable–aspects of economics is how its practitioners never seem to be wrong.
Indeed, almost every school of economic thought, from John Maynard Keynes’ demand-driven economics on the left to Arthur Laffer’s supply-side economics on the right, is crowded with disciples defending their leader’s theories and just often, if subtly, attacking their […]
Posted on March 4, 2022
As deep winter reasserted itself over most of the nation’s farms and ranches, the New York Times brought some real heat to the Big-Ag-Fights-Climate-Change debate.
In a 14-minute, fast-paced video titled “Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet,” the film’s subtitle not only names the killers, it convicts them, too: “American agriculture is ravaging the air, […]
Posted on February 18, 2022
For more than 40 years my father farmed within a mile of where the Kaskaskia River met the Mississippi deep in southern Illinois. That meant he had two, lifetime partners: the river and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, landlords of the levees that guarded our wedge of the Great American Bottoms.
Dad never argued with […]
Posted on February 11, 2022
The biggest gold rush in U.S. history is about to hit rural America and it won’t involve corn or cattle or even gold. Instead, the big money will be in pipelines.
That’s right, pipelines; pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines designed to carry CO2 from Midwestern ethanol plants to “sequestration” sites in either North Dakota or Illinois.
Posted on January 26, 2022
No one was shocked recently when the General Accountability Office (GAO) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had overpaid farmers billions of dollars during the slapdash tariff-mitigation scheme ordered by the Trump White House in 2018 and 2019.
A couple of billion bucks in government waste is, evidently, chump change when–as in the case of […]
Posted on January 21, 2022
Despite an honest-to-goodness flood of evidence to the contrary, more than 100 million American adults continue to deny the existence of climate change. That’s roughly one third of the country.
Congress is little better. Currently, 109 House members and 30 senators, or about 26 percent of all members, have cast “doubt on the clear, established scientific […]
Posted on September 23, 2021
The key ingredients for a looming crack-up in ethanol–the fast rise of electric vehicles, lukewarm politics, and more evidence of catastrophic climate change–are in place and few in U.S. ag policy circles are prepared to face that reality.
In fact, none of those woes are new; they’ve been building for years.
For example, the Trump Administration’s almost carte […]
Posted on August 13, 2021
In a sweeping, 72-point executive order on competition, the Biden Administration announced it was taking dead aim at the heavily concentrated “multinational companies (that) increasingly dominate markets for crops, chemicals, seeds, and meat,” reported Bloomberg.
The competition order–that “reach(es) from the FDA to the Pentagon”–includes “directives… such as rules that would help chicken farmers and ranchers… […]