TED Talk: Science is Pro GMO

Here is a great TED talk a friend of mine posted on Facebook.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pass this along!

Here is a quote to summarize the TED Talk:

“Look, I’m not asking you to believe me. Science is not a belief system. My opinion does not matter.  Let’s look at the evidence. After 20 years of careful study and rigorous peer review by thousands of independent scientists, every major scientific organization in the world has concluded that the process of genetic engineering is as safe or safer as older methods of genetic modification.”

She ends: “What scares me most about the loud arguments and misinformation about plant genetics is that the poorest people, the people who most need the technology, may be denied access because of the fears and prejudices of those who have enough to eat.”

Check it out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qv29P4TKyo

Here is a link to the article as well:  http://blog.ted.com/why-genetic-engineering-of-plants-is-vital-for-food-security-pamela-ronald-speaks-at-ted2015/

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Dairy Industry Crashing in 2015

Just last year, milk prices started skyrocketing as China had poor milk production and needed to begin importing milk.  The United States Dairy Farmers were happy to help China with their milk production crisis.  However, now that exports are back to normal, milk prices are crashing.  Talking with Dairy farmers today, they mentioned their checks were going from 25 cents per hundred down to 15 cents per hundred.  Other farmers mentioned similar slides in prices.  Meanwhile, other farmers see the price slide and are being asked to pay 5 cents per hundred to pour milk down the drain.  Why would we pour milk down the drain?  To stabilize milk prices.  While customers will be happy to see the gallon of milk return to $3.00 prices, farmers will be not so appeased.

With the large cash crop Ag sector crashing also, in its second year down, Ag producers were hoping to cash in on getting more dairy farmers to buy new equipment.  Looks like the Ag equipment companies are in for a long hard year.  I expect more layoffs coming in manufacturing plants this year as well.  Last year Deere lead the way with thousands of layoffs.  I think this will be a good year for anyone looking to get new farm equipment as companies will be giving away their equipment for bottom dollar prices to maintain cash flow and minimize layoffs/downsizing.

Bill Nye is Pro GMO!

In a recent article on the Washington Post, Bill Nye reversed his stance on GMO’s after investigating GMO’s at Monsanto.  In the article Bill Nye said he wanted to understand the science behind GMO’s and how they were being used.  What Bill learned was that science is just speeding up the genetic changes to plants as they breed over the years.  Bill concludes that since his visit to Monsanto, he will be an advocate for GMO’s and not against them.  To read more about this, see the article on the Washington Post’s website.

Link:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/03/proof-hes-the-science-guy-bill-nye-is-changing-his-mind-about-gmos/

Where do you stand?  Do you understand the science?  Do you trust Bill Nye?  Comment below!

2014 Corn Harvest Map

Here is a link to this years corn harvest map and submission of the latest corn yields. Feel free to submit your own yields!

http://www.agweb.com/corn-harvest-map/

I have personally been in Missouri and Pennsylvania for the Harvest this year. The yields for both are pretty high in some areas with yields upwards of 240+ bushels per acre! That is very impressive. Comment below on the harvest in your area!

How do we determine a GMO?

Please re-read the title of the post and comment below on how you think a GMO should be determined…  Thanks!  Keep everything respectful and everyone’s opinions are welcome!

When we look back at the history of the world and look at the history of agriculture, we start to see a selective process develop.  Agriculture was the end of nomadic period for human history.  With the beginning of agriculture, the beginning of selective breeding and reproduction for plants and animals was upon us.  For thousands of years since, humans have discovered that by selective breeding and reproduction, we could continue specific traits and eliminate traits we did not want.  A good producing cow was mated with a good strong bull who had a history of producing good quality cows.  The process became ever more easier with the advancements in technology in the 20th century.  Books like the Hoard’s Dairyman were, and still are, devoted to the best of the best sires and dams (males and females) in the Dairy Industry.  The goal?  Farmers want to increase their income, and feed the human race, through more productive cows, so they breed accordingly!  With the latest technology in plant breeding, we see huge advancements in plant selection and reproduction.

So where exactly do we draw the line on what is a Genetically Modified Organism?  Farmers have been planting corn varieties next to each other, that when mixed, produce great yields since the turn of the 20th Century.  The Ag industry today refers to these as Hybrid crops.  Is hybrid corn a GMO?  Is a cow, bred with such selective intent on specific features, a GMO?

Where is the line drawn between an organic or all natural animal or plant?  I am looking forward to you continuing the conversation in the comments below!!!

Lower Class Loses in GMO Battle

Today, I’m going to take another particular angle on the GMO debate.  For more points, see other posts in my blog.

It is almost becoming exhausting… all the debate over GMO’s.  However, do you know what would be really troubling?  Imagine we had to take the low cost option of food off the shelves at our local grocery stores… simply because it incorporated GMO’s.  Also consider that removing GMO’s may reduce the supply of food significantly, driving prices higher than ever.

How would that impact our society?

Well, there has already been quite a trend since the recession… the rich get richer and the poor have gotten poorer.  Remove GMO’s from the grocery store shelves… and the trend is exponentially increased.  The fact remains that no one has scientifically proven GMO’s to be harmful.  Secondly, even if they were remotely harmful… the idea of crippling the ability of the lowest class of society from being able to afford food would be even worse.  The amount of funding for food stamps was reduced in the 2014 farm bill, and will continue to be reduced as pennies in congress are pinched.  Meanwhile, prices of food continue to go higher.  

Those who are left out of the conversation, are those who matter most.  Unless GMO’s are going to destroy the human race, or those of us in the middle to upper class are willing to pay for food subsidies for the lower class, we need low cost options on the shelves of our grocery store for the lower class to provide for their families.

Have any other suggestions?  

Also, did you know that crops have been genetically modified since the 1930’s?  Looks like it has really devastated the human race since then.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Check out that history here:  http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/crops_03.html

Feel free to post your thoughts!

Harvest 2014: Canadian Yields Down

Tough news to swallow this year for the Canadian small grain farmers, yields on Canola and Wheat are down around 26% after last year’s high.  This will cause a lot of Canadian farmers to pinch their pockets until next year.  Canada is a big source of ag equipment business, and could hurt an already struggling year for ag equipment producers.

Obviously the prices of Canola will begin inching up.  If farmers were prepared, they would’ve waited to lock in their prices.  Usually that is not the case.  Most farmers who lock in, lock in fairly early a decent percent of their crop.

I will be able to provide a better update on the situation come the end of September when I visit Canada for two weeks.

Here is the link to the article:  Canadian Crop Yields Down for 2014.