Howdy friends and neighbors. What did you do for Earth Day? Last Friday night, I thought I would entertain myself and watch a 20/20 special on seven ways to conserve energy. Ole Diane Sawyer, ABC's team of on-the-spot reporters, and some Hollywood elite were stationed around the globe to show me that if I don't change my ways, the Earth would rust up or something. And of course, the earth is going to meet its doom mostly because of agriculture.



These hypocritical tree huggers contradicted themselves all the way through the broadcast. One fig-eating reporter was telling how if I would demand organically grown products, it would help eliminate millions of pounds of pesticides from going into the earth. Then they turned to a hippy throw back down in Brazil who showed me a rainforest that had been destroyed to plant soybeans, and later, another reporter was telling me to use more bio-diesel made from soybeans. Well that all makes sense.



Come on stupid farmers; let's produce twice the soybeans without the help of safe chemicals for a "carbon friendly" method of no-till and absolutely no biotechnology so we can fuel a nation and help save the rain forest. Hey, Utah has a lot of vast, open, bare land. We can plant some organic dry-land soybeans there just as long as they aren't genetically modified to grow in dry rocks. Meanwhile, prime farmland is sucked under by concrete so we can build specialty shops for tree huggers to buy their "earth-friendly, organic" products.



Next, the focus was on Paris and New York City where for earth day the lights were turned off at several famous landmarks to conserve energy. Never mind the amount of energy to transport many teams of reporters, the energy to beam the signal around the world, all the energy to power millions of TVs for us to see Paris and NYC turn the lights off for a couple of hours to save some energy. Also, never mind the energy it took to power them back up. What about all the energy the ABC advertising staff spent selling ads for this special report, and the energy spent by ABC to conduct ratings so they can sell more ads?



I don't know one single farmer that is not constantly looking for ways to cut costs. And in agriculture, energy is the driving force for cost from fuel, to fertilizer, to chemicals. Despite what the drive-by media wants you to think, farmers are not dumping fertilizer and chemical on the earth for the joy of it. I have some relatives that grow vegetables for a "farmer's market," and they are frequently asked if chemicals are used to produce them. My ol' uncle Wayne replies by telling them, "not one bit more than we had to use." The customer usually buys the perfect looking produce and returns the next week because it tasted great.



Speaking of "organic plants," I had a soil science professor lecture on the nitrogen cycle and nitrogen has to be in the inorganic form before a plant can absorb it. Thus, he said, "there is no such thing as an organic plant." It doesn't matter if nitrogen comes from synthetic urea, cow poop, or a dead fish, nitrogen must be converted to an inorganic form to be utilized by a plant. And for all the tree huggers that think "natural" is the way to go, some of the most deadly substances on earth are "natural." Arsenic, E-coli, aflatoxin, rattle snakes, there's quite a list. I'll challenge any tree hugger to eat corn with aflatoxin and I'll eat genetically modified, Round-up Ready, Bt corn, and we'll see who dies the next week.



Here is an idea for Diane Sawyer, Al Gore, George Clooney, and the rest of the "special report hypocrites." Let's doze in your oversized homes, plant inorganic carrots and nut trees and build you a one-room hut with a solar panel in the corner. All these ratings and box office sales seekers want to point the finger of blame at modern agriculture and industry while collecting money from this "sky is falling" tale. As I watched this dramatic report unfold, I noticed none of them were naked or looked hungry. Oh, I also did my part to save some energy; I TiVo'd 20/20 so I could fast-forward through the ads and saved 15 minutes of energy.



I'm Monte Tucker, and that is what's under my inorganic hat.



Each week we're including an editorial in Dealer Update. The first two were written by AgProfessional staff, Colleen Scherer and Richard Keller, about quite different topics. Guest editorials are also going to be a part of this space. This week, Monte Tucker's most recent "What's Under My Hat" column has been included. Tucker farms and ranches near Sweetwater, Oklahoma, and when he's not working with cattle and crops, he is writing a weekly newspaper editorial with a somewhat comical point of view about local, state and national issues. Tucker also is a member of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.