Posted on August 27, 2021
This year of striking contrasts continues to build: a late winter of pandemic horror, a spring of vaccine relief, a summer of social sunshine, now a Covid reprise this fall.
For agriculture, August delivered its own contrasts. For example, the often market-rattling August Crop Report carried the unlikely news of near-record 2021 corn and soybean crops […]
Posted on August 27, 2021
Like any chain, today’s ubiquitous “supply chains” are only as strong as their weakest links. Americans again learned this elemental lesson a year ago when the rapidly exploding Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation’s streets, sidewalks, and pantries clean of cars, people, and groceries.
Less evident are today’s still-broken links in the global food supply chain.
For example, […]
Posted on January 22, 2021
The last column of the year usually features comments from readers whose views differ from those found here the previous 50 or so weeks. Most point out, often in vivid language, the shortcomings of my ideas, opinions, and—increasingly—the “fake news” I peddle through both.
At least that’s how it has been for at least 25 […]
Posted on June 10, 2020
While Tyson Foods says it’s “feeding you like family,” we recently learned that it and the rest of America’s Big Meat members sometimes need a war-like White House declaration just to cut a fat hog.
More striking than the order itself was its effect: it didn’t work.
A week after President Donald J. Trump ordered […]
Posted on January 30, 2020
Before the year loses its fresh, youthful promise, let’s look at some recent research to, hopefully, address a nagging problem carried over from 2019.
For months last year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue defended three proposed rule changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will remove an estimated 3.7 million recipients from […]
Posted on August 29, 2019
On the farms of our youths, the dog days of August featured actual dogs and not a whole lot of anything else.
Given the unsettled state of today’s growing season, commodity markets, and politics, maybe the best way to get through this August is to slide back to that era and just not say […]
Posted on August 15, 2019
You know it’s going to be a long, hot summer if, on the day before you assume the political leadership of the United Kingdom—as Boris Johnson did on July 23—one of the world’s most authoritative newspapers, the New York Times, prints a column that begins with the phrase, “Boris Johnson, to whom lying comes as […]
Posted on November 20, 2018
A week before American voters decided whether the mid-term elections would deliver a red wave or a blue wave, OpenSecrets.org, the non-partisan group that tracks money in politics, made a spot-on prediction: the biggest wave on Nov. 6 would be green.
Greenbacks, that is, because this year’s political candidates, OpenSecrets estimated, would spend $5.2 billion on […]
Posted on May 30, 2018
There’s something fundamentally wrong with a legislative process that delivers a Farm Bill so deeply flawed that groups as politically diverse as the ruby red Heritage Foundation and the ocean blue Environmental Working Group (EWG) join forces to publicly condemn it.
And yet on May 8, EWG’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber moderated […]
Posted on May 24, 2018
For over 100 years, some Kansans have either built or added to their journalism reputation by asking this simple question: What’s the matter with Kansas? The answer, however, is far from simple.
The first to ask was William Allen White, the publisher and editor of the Emporia Gazette. White, a mainstream Republican, posed the question as the […]