U.S. Agriculture & Drought Disaster - Bruce Babcock

  • Aired:  07/24/12
  •  | Views: 21,430

Iowa farmers prepare to face death panels thanks to federal crop insurance, or Obamacare for corn. (4:03)

UH-UH.

UH-UH.

THIS DROUGHT IS A MASSIVE STORY,

AND WE AT THE REPORT WILL CONTINUE TO COVER IT.

LIKE RIGHT NOW, WITH MY GUEST,

LIVE VIA SATELLITE, PROFESSOR OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, BRUCE BABCOCK.

DR. BABCOCK THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

>> NICE TO BE WITH YOU.

>> STEPHEN: MR. BABCOCK IS IT HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?

>> IT'S VERY HOT IN IOWA RIGHT NOW.

IT'S UP TO 98 TO 100 FOR ALMOST THE LAST TWO WEEKS.

>> STEPHEN: IOWA THAT'S CORN COUNTRY.

WHAT -- HOW IS THE CROP DOING THIS YEAR?

>> IT'S DYING RIGHT NOW.

I'VE BEEN RIDING MY BIKE THROUGH A BUNCH OF CORN FIELDS IN IOWA

AND THE CROP LOOKS LIKE IT'S A DISASTER.

>> STEPHEN: WHEN YOU SAY DISASTER AND THAT'S IT IS DYING,

HOW MUCH OF THE CORN CROP WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE DROUGHT?

>> ALMOST ALL THE CROP IS GOING TO BE AFFECTED BECAUSE RAINFALL

DIDN'T OCCUR REALLY MUCH OF ANY PLACE IN IOWA OR AT ILLINOIS AND ADD INDIANA TO THAT.

>> STEPHEN: ALL IS A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF THE CROP S. THAT GOING TO AFFECT ME?

I DON'T ENJOY LIKE EATING CORN ON THE COBB.

IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT MY LIFE?

I'M MORE OF A, YOU KNOW, SODA POP AND CORN CHIPS GUY.

>> YOU WON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT SODIE POP AND CORN CHIPS OR CORN ON THE COBB.

WHEN YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IS EGGS, CHICKENS, DAIRY PRODUCTS,

THE MOZZARELLA CHEESE ON YOUR PIZZA, YOUR BEEF AND YOUR PORK.

>> STEPHEN: MR. BABCOCK -- THAT'S WHEN YOU SEE THE EFFECTS OF CORN.

>> Jon: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO BREAK THIS TO YOU BUT EGGS ARE MADE OF EGG.

THEY ARE NOT MADE OF CORN.

HOW IS THE CORN GOING TO EFFECT MY EGGS?

>> EGGS ARE 70% CORN.

YOU FEED THE CHICKENS HEAVY RATION OF CORN, OUT COMES AN EGG SO THERE'S A HEAVY CONCENTRATION

OF CORN IN THAT EGG.

WHEN THE PRICE OF CORN GOES UP,

THE COST OF PRODUCING THE EGG GOES UP IMMEDIATELY.

YOU'LL SEE AN INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF EGGS.

>> STEPHEN: CAN I EAT CHICKENS?

>> IT'S THE SAME AS EGGS.

YOU FEED --

>> STEPHEN: NOT THE SAME.

EGG COMES FIRST, SIR, BEFORE CHICKEN.

I DON'T KNOW -- NOT TO BLOW THE LID OFF THE BIRDS AND THE BEES RIGHT NOW.

WHAT IF I EAT BEEF OR PORK THAT'S NOT CORN?

>> IT'S ALL CORN.

AMERICAN LIVESTOCK ARE FED CORN-HEAVY DIET.

PORK PRICES WILL GO UP AND BEEF PRICES WILL GO UP BECAUSE OF THIS DROUGHT.

>> STEPHEN: HOW MUCH OF CROP GOES TO ETHANOL?

>> 35% TO 40% OF THE CROP GOES TO ETHANOL.

>> STEPHEN: AM I GOING HAVE TO FIGHT MY AUDI FOR LUNCH?

>> THERE'S A FIGHT BETWEEN ETHANOL PLANT AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS ABOUT WHO GETS THAT CORN.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE CROP IS COMPLETELY WIPED OUT?

DO THE FARMERS HAVE PROTECTION?

>> 90% OF IOWA FARMERS HAVE CROP INSURANCE.

IT'S A FEDERAL PROGRAM THAT --

>> STEPHEN: WAIT, WAIT, WAIT,

A FEDERAL INSURANCE PROGRAM?

THAT IS JUST OBAMA CARE FOR OUR CORN.

[ LAUGHTER ]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> WELL, IN ESSENCE, YOU ARE RIGHT.

IT'S OBAMACARE FOR THE CORN.

>> STEPHEN: SO THAT MEANS EVENTUALLY ALL THE FARMERS WILL BE FACING DEATH PANELS.

>> THEY HOPE IT RAINS AND NEXT YEAR THEY HOPE THEY KEEP THE HIGH PRICES AND IT RAINS AGAIN.

FARMERS ARE USUALLY LOOKING ON BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS.

>> STEPHEN: IS THIS THE WORST DROUGHT OF OUR LIFETIME?

>> DEPENDS HOW LONG ARE YOU.

1930'S --

>> STEPHEN: I'M 27.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BRUCE BABCOCK, EVERYBODY.

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