While We’re Out Enjoying the Farmers Market
Du Pont has more than 800 salespeople out helping farmers improve their yields – with genetically engineered seeds and industrial chemicals. As the Des Moines Register headlines it: In hard times, chemical industry is buoyed by agricultural need.
I didn’t put help in ironic quotes because Dupont’s reps are also offering expensive technology like satellite imaging analysis, something that is genuinely helpful when you’re managing thousands of acres.
The thing that rankles my curd is that farmers aren’t getting more of these benign aids from the government. High tech can support sustainability as easily as it can be a chemical marketing tool.
Given that many independent farmers are currently busting their gonads growing commodity crops to be sold at prices they cannot control, it’s no wonder they make common cause with international agrifactories, lobbying hard for loose regulation, subsidies and mandated corn ethanol.
Without these dubious supports the independents might well go under. A gross income of $250,000 sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t if you’re spending $190,000 of it on land rental, equipment, labor and, of course, bio-engineered seed and agricultural chemicals.
Who’s getting rich?
” Three guesses,” as my sister used to say, “the first two don’t count.”