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Even at an early age, Cheryl Day was a passionate and practical advocate for agriculture. Check out her viewpoint on current agricultural topics.

Weathering the Storm

Sep 26, 2012

droughtcornplantAs a child of family that owned the local Gran Elevator in the late 1980s, the memories of the stress drought placed on the farm families and the businesses of the agriculture community came flooding back.  I now know the true anxiety my parents endured during that time period.  Until the final grain is harvested, our family or the world will not truly know the financial impact the drought of 2012 will have on our livelihood or the world's economy.  Will the farmer be able to put food on his table and everyone else’s?

As a farmer, we take great care in utilizing the latest technology to increase yield on the same acreage without depleting the natural resources we were blessed with on our farm. We are the biggest gamblers because farmers bet the house on the hand Mother Nature deals us.  However the world’s best soil, supreme genetic seed package, and newest equipment cannot raise a record crop demanded by a growing population without rain.   Every year the growing season presents challenges some years are just larger obstacles than others.  

Our family is luckier than some parts of Illinois, we actually have corn and soybeans to harvest. The corn yields for the area have ranged 90 to 170bu per acre compared to our normal 180 to 250bu per acre.   Farmers of the 1988 will tell you that 80bu Corn was golden.  Only thing that has change is utilization of sound science.  Biotechnology has changed the genetic package of the seed allowing it to endure extreme environmental factors. 

2012 will go down as the widest spread drought throughout the Corn Belt since the 1980s. The world will feel the impact from grocery items derived from our commodity to the meat counter to corn plastic.  As a livestock producer, the long-hot summer still taunts my goals at raising outstanding breeding animals to serve as foundation genetics for the beef industry.  Similar to all farmers and ranchers, our family is facing hard decisions and exercising our strategic planning that will hopefully help us to weather the storm.

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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Ric Ohge - Belmond, IA
All the well-intentioned assertions about "Traited Seeds" were made before Science(and, of course, Science is an endless and evolutionary process)discovered that the here-to-fore "junk DNA" (and wouldn't that also mean RNA?) WASN'T junk, after all. The "Bio-Engineering" Process used, the "gun" (Details from this Article from AZ State University: http://bioenergy.asu.edu/photosyn/courses/bio_343/lecture/geneng.html) was not meant to address this fact, which is likely why there are so many mutations and species involved now. Add in the cocktail of Aluminum Oxide, Barium, Strontium and Magnesium as nano-particles being spewed into our skies, as well as the low-level but slowly growing Cesium levels from Fukushima, and it's an inevitable "Epic Fail". Is the concept of "Bio-Engineering" in and of itself bad? Not at all! However new science is telling us that (A) RNA is the deciding factor, (B) ALL the Protein chains matter, so we NEED to know how they act when we alter one or more of them, (C) WHEN introducing a new factor, where should it best fit to make sure it's a permanent fixture in this plant, alone-Nature has proven adept at the game of "snatch and grab", (D) WHAT REALLY HAPPENS when the edited RNA/DNA complex is introduced further up in the Food Cain and Biosphere. It's also important to recognize we need more Scientific disciplines to converge. Molecular processes ARE governed by the more dynamic patterns that have been the purview of Quantum Physicists. The major players, like Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and others need to back away from the current deeply flawed deployment, fix the soil, help Farmers build successful Harvests in the meantime, while going back to the labs in a "Team Effort" and produce the next generation of Biotechnology, that isn't susceptible to the problems we've seen, that has a foundation in a more current and convergent Scientific base.
10:19 AM Oct 4th
 
 
 
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