Thursday, December 29, 2011
Greed. It can come back to bite you in the...
Rootworms have become resistant to genetically modified corn. The corn made by those wonderful folks at Monsanto (he said snarkily) was modified to produce its' own pesticide. Unfortunately the worms have developed a resistance to it and are starting to increase crop damage. The problem has been exacerbated by poor farming methods.
Don't fool mother nature
A problem of greed
Most farmers rotate corn with other crops in a practice long used to curb the spread of pests, but some have abandoned rotation because they need extra grain for livestock or because they have grain contracts with ethanol producers. Other farmers have eschewed the practice to cash in on high corn prices, which hit a record in June.
Crop rotation I might add has been used for centuries and when done properly results in higher crop yields and better soil conditions. We saw what happened in the 1930s when farmers abandoned standard practices and when a draught ensued the top soil blew away leaving farmers with nothing. That was the period of the great Dust Bowl in the midwest. With a dry winter it makes one wonder how the midwest aquifer is holding up. It's been known to be decreasing with the increase of agricultural activity of the farm belt.
I hope everyone realizes that we no longer grow most of our produce in this country. We only cover about 25% of our food needs here. The rest comes from countries like Chile, Canada, India, and Mexico. And you can thank Bush for our abundance of mangos from India. Much of our farm output was outsourced long ago and yet prices continue to rise. Good luck finding a pound of beef for under $5. That was due to our draught this past summer. But this makes me wonder what defense we would have should our supplies be cut off. We have developed a "just in time" supply system and any disruption to that would be a disaster.