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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Corn Harvest

Oct 16, 2008

This week, I was driving our combine back and forth harvesting 8 rows and watching that golden grain flow into the hopper. What fun! It was especially fun to read the monitor – 230 bushels per acre, 24 percent moisture. Back and forth auguring into the big grain wagon. Never stopping. We are grateful to have an excellent crop.

Appreciating the abundance of quality food here in the U.S. brings to mind the hungry and starving in many other nations around the globe.

In 1979, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization created World Food Day to draw attention to the hungry of the world. This week, we celebrate World Food Day and the efforts of those organizations helping to feed the hungry. A special compliment to the World Food Program that leads the way feeding millions of the underfed.

There is plenty of food in the world. It doesn’t always get to those who need it. We will have no trouble producing the abundance needed if farmers globally adopt the new technology that we use here on our own farms in this country.
I look at my corn plants – healthy, an ear on every stalk, consistent population, standing like trees. Beautiful. How did this happen? The American farmer has led the world in adopting new technology to increase yield.

When I was a boy, we didn’t have chemicals to kill the weeds. The corn was weedy. The root worms damaged the roots cutting back yield potential. Corn bores drilled holes in the stalks. Some stalks fell over and some ears fell to the ground. Then, along came chemicals to help control the root worms and corn bores and weeds. That made a big difference.

Today, the corn we have been harvesting is even better. A lot better. Through genetic engineering, we don’t have to use chemicals to control the pests. Our genetically engineered plants reject those root worms and corn bores. The only way to get optimum production is to protect the plants from yield robbers so they can product at full potential. We do this today using far less chemicals than we used to and far less than in Europe where they still won’t accept genetic engineering.

How else can we feed the world? How else can we help to fuel the world if we are not progressive in our farming techniques?

Thanks to John Deere and Monsanto for leading the way.


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