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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drought Grows More Perilous

Last week I gave a worst case assessment of the effects of the drought on corn, soy and other crops, and it's potential political effect as hunger grows.  Now evaluations of the damage to the corn crop are moving in my direction, but the media is still underplaying it's potential effect on hunger.

Poverty in this country has returned to the early 1960's level and hunger near that as food stamps, in real dollars, don't stretch to feed low income families.  Last month the government said that food prices will increase by 3-4%, now they are admitting to more, but they say it doesn't matter because people will adjust by changing what they will by.  With the House trying to cut back on food stamps, I have to ask for poor families to what: white rice and potatoes? Meat and dairy, corn flakes, prepared foods, etc will soon be out of reach for the a wider segment of low income of people.

Meanwhile 20% of our corn crop is committed to the production of ethanol, when much more efficient sources for ethanol are available.    This when PBS reports last night that half  the U.S. is plagued by the drought. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/weather/july-dec12/drought_08-10.html)



Again we call on Congress to increase, not decrease, resources for food and to post pone cuts to farm subsidies, or implement a better, rational system of agricultural management now.  In addition we need to reduce the percentage of our grain crop invested in corn and increase the percentage of corn that is drought resistant. For years it has been known that our corn crop was vulnerable to drought by comparison with high desert forms of corn, such as the Hopi Blue Corn and Hopi Red Corn .  (See:  http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qxUFAAAAYAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA293&dq=hopi+corn+drought+resistance&ots=TYfk0wPSoC&sig=V-R0cnWvLZcIi_DBCPswTdiIp20#v=onepage&q=hopi%20corn%20drought%20resistance&f=false)

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