Radio Script 8-13-19

NRCS photo by Gary Kramer

The much anticipated USDA August Crop Production report that came out yesterday had a rather dramatic impact on wheat and corn prices, trimming about 20 cents per bushel from September wheat prices, while knocking off a quarter on September corn. Soybeans also lost a dime. Now for the rest of the story. When the July crop production report came out, USDA economists had reported that there was more wheat, corn and soybean acres than what market gurus had reported. Grain company experts had predicted that wet fields, poor growing conditions and export demand would cause prices to climb to $8 per bushel for corn and $12 to $14 for soybeans, which caused a market rally in early July before the July USDA report was published on July 11th. After the report, commodity prices settled into the $4 corn and $8 soybean prices that farmers had watched during May and June. Grain traders cried foul, and called for heads to roll at the USDA because the inaccurate information published by the USDA ruined the rally that started in late June. Well, the August report verified that the July USDA estimates of planted acres and potential yields was about right.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Report, released last Thursday, warned about mass food insecurity from climate change, citing industrial agricultural as a Major contributor to rising greenhouse gases because of methane emissions from livestock and draining of wetlands. The report suggested some proposals to counter the effects of climate change, such as improving land productivity, decreasing food waste and consuming less meat. It also promotes sustainable agricultural practices like improved soil management and planting more trees. These solutions didn’t set well with many proponents of large scale agriculture and livestock organizations. Frank Mitloehner, an air quality and emissions expert at the University of California, Davis often defends meat and dairy producers under fire in the climate debate, called the report “overall a reasonable report, but part of the media want to make this into a eat less meat to save the planet message.” Many farmers and ranchers believe that climate science researchers and proponents of the New Green Deal need to realize that millions of acres of land around the world are unsuitable for crop production, but will readily support livestock production that will provide food and fiber that will be necessary in the future.

Today’s thought is by English biologist and author Richard Dawkins. He said, “If something is true, no amount of wishful thinking will change it.”

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