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Sound the Alarm Part 2

Jim Boxberger Jr.
Posted 10/21/22

Last week I wrote about the fact that Chinese interests are buying up U.S. farmland and how this is effecting the trade deficit, but it is also putting our food security in jeopardy. If all grocery …

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Garden Guru

Sound the Alarm Part 2


Last week I wrote about the fact that Chinese interests are buying up U.S. farmland and how this is effecting the trade deficit, but it is also putting our food security in jeopardy. If all grocery stores closed tomorrow and you had to survive for a year based on what you could produce in your own backyard, could you do it? 

Most people could not and why should you have to when grocery stores are right around the corner in almost every town. Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about nitrogen and the fact that the planet would only be able to support a population of around four billion, yet on November 15 of this year, we're projected to hit eight billion. It is because of modern farming that we can exceed population limits on our planet. If you take the modern farming away, almost half the population would starve. Imagine what type of war that could produce. We've gone to war for much less in the past. 

So what can you or I do about this? Awareness is key; if we keep our eyes open to what is going on and make others aware of it as well, we can be better prepared for whatever the future may hold. Maybe start canning produce again and putting some food away in the basement. MRE's (meals ready to eat) are not just for the military anymore. They can be purchased online and in many stores like Bass Pro and Cabela's. 

Now I'm not saying that anyone should become a prepper (the term used for someone prepping for the zombie apocalypse), but be prepared for unforseen disasters, like what southwest Florida just went through with hurricane Ian. My mom’s house made it through with only cosmetic damage but she had no electric, phone or internet for two weeks. She had enough dry goods and non perishables to successfully camp out for those two weeks without having to go to a food bank. 

She hopes she never has to do it again, but she was brought up in a time when you needed to be prepared for anything. In school she had to do those duck and cover drills under your desk in case of nuclear attack and it is lessons like that, that prepare you for things in the future. 

Groceries are already high from inflation and the war in the Ukraine, now just imagine if Tyson Foods stop selling chicken in the U.S. and instead sent it all to China. You might say, we will still have Perdue, but what will the price of chicken climb to when fifty percent of the supply has flown the coop? 

Economics 101 will tell you when the supply diminishes while the demand remains the same, prices will increase. Look at what oil and gas prices have done over the last 36 months and now OPEC is cutting production in November. Fill up your tanks now as the price of gas will be over four dollars a gallon again before Christmas. And if you haven't gotten your fuel oil yet this winter, sit down before you open the bill as it is already over five dollars a gallon. 

Contact our State Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and let them know how you feel. They can be emailed at www.schumer.senate.gov and www.gillibrand.senate.gov.  Some people in Washington are trying to make a difference, but unfortunately, their voices are being drowned out by the constant bickering on both sides of the aisle. But the old saying holds true, "the squeaky wheel, gets the grease". We need to be that squeaky wheel; they are suppose to work for us. 

We need our American farmers and farmland protected so that we have food security. Farmers have one of the hardest jobs in the world and dairy farmers are at the top of the list. I know a few dairy farmers and your typical dairy cow needs to be milked twice a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Back in the old days large families could share the workload, but today most children of farmer's grow up, go to college and move away from the farm. Farmers want better for their children then what they had, just like most parents. But what about a vacation? 

Most jobs give you a minimum two weeks of paid vacation time during a year, but how about a dairy farmer. Who is going to milk the cows? You cannot call a temp agency for a milkmaid, it is a skilled job. That's right, I said skilled. There are a lot of things I can do, but milking a cow is not one of them. I know one dairy farmer that has not been away from his farm in over twenty years because he has no one to take care of the cows if he leaves. 

Like everyone else, good help is hard to find and farm help is almost non-existent. Since the age of refrigeration we have had it easier and easier each decade with food security that we have become complacent. We need more vigilance in the future to make sure that we stay in control of our farms and our food security. Next week I'll go back to lighter topics like the wooly bear caterpillar or the blizzard of 2023.


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