Saturday, November 2, 2013

GMO Crops Make Me Tired

I am tired, so tired I can barely move or think. But don’t worry, I know exactly what is causing my tiredness. It is because of gmo crops. Yes, gmo crops are making me tired, specifically the gmo crops I grow. I am sure that gmo corn and soybeans are making me very tired. On top of being tired, nearly every joint in my body aches and my back hurts.
OK, before you start sending me gmo free recipes and places to buy gmo free foods, I should, in the words of the late, great Paul Harvey, tell you the rest of the story. My gmo crops are making me tired because we have been blessed with a good crop this year and harvest has worn on much longer than the previous, poor harvests. Earlier this evening I thought I saw the light at the end of the harvest tunnel, then I realized it was just Dad and the combine coming in to dump more grain on the truck.
Our corn received good, timely rains and favorable temperatures at the right time and we are harvesting some of the best corn we have ever grown. The soybeans are even more of a testament to gmo advances. They did not have such favorable growing conditions and still produced an above average crop. They enjoyed the same cool, wet weather the corn did, but at the most critical times for them to be blooming, setting pods on and filling those pods, the weather turned very, very hot.
That is why it is so puzzling to me when I read things like a recent column in the New York Times (and why wouldn’t we go to the New York Times for our opinions on agriculture) on gmo crops. The author asserted that anyone who would grow gmo crops was just a shill for industrial agriculture. The writer went on to promote an agriculture system with very small farms growing a great diversity of non-gmo crops. The theory being that this type of agriculture would more easily feed a growing world population while better protecting both our food supply and environment.
This theory couldn’t be any more wrong. The truth of the matter is that we need gmo crops to feed our growing world population. In fact, we need improvements in technology to meet the growing demand for food. Basically the idea was that we would be better off if we reverted back to the agriculture of yesteryear. We cannot go backwards and expect to meet the growing demand.
The columnist also shared his thought that farmers who use gmo crops just mindlessly dump the seed into our planters. According to this “expert” we are just lemmings and do what is easy and will make us the most money. We are creating a wasteland and putting our food supply in jeopardy.  He also shared the opinion that we were creating a monoculture and putting our environment in peril.
As I sat in my truck, dusty, dirty and tired, I wondered how he missed the boat so badly. Obviously he had never spent time on any kind of a farm. Otherwise he would have known the amount of work that goes into each crop, not matter what kind of cropping system you use. We spend hours looking over the genetic traits of the seed we buy and we match them to the fields they will be planted in. Many hours are spent scouting the fields identifying pests and weeds. As far as the greed accusation, last I checked my bank account I was not getting rich.
This would be yet another example of someone who does not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from and someone who does not have to worry about how they will pay for their food. I suspect he is someone with good intentions and bad information. I am almost sure he probably has never set foot on a farm or spent time with anyone who is a proponent of gmo crops. His ideas are formed in theory and not fact.
The scary thing is that this writer represents many of our customers. They do not understand gmo crops and therefore gmo crops must be unhealthy and bad for the environment. We all know that this is not true, and we must work to get the truth and the facts out. On second thought maybe it isn’t my gmo crops that are making me tired, it must be the gmo critics.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I see many people complaining about GMO. Some do have a rural background (although maybe not farming). Glad to see another point of view. Nice blog.