Howdy friends and neighbors. Well, how many of you have seen or read the headline, "Food vs. Fuel?" It seems every time I pick up a publication I see this headline followed by an argument over who is to blame for the increase in the price of food. The media is trying to blame farmers for the run up as the farmers are seeing record high commodity prices. The cowboys, chicken boys and hog boys are blaming the ethanol boys for causing corn to go through the roof. But, they are begging at the back door for the byproduct of ethanol, which is a high-grade feed. And the ethanol boys are now mad at the natural gas boys because natural gas is through the roof and for some funny reason; it takes natural gas to produce ethanol. Meanwhile, the natural gas boys are mad at the electric company because their electric bill is higher and for some funny reason, the natural gas boys use electricity to run big compressors. I'm confused! But wait. A train burns diesel to haul coal that is used to make electricity so the natural gas company can compress their gas to send it to the ethanol plant so they can turn corn into ethanol and feed byproduct so we can feed it to cattle that could just eat grass! But, in order to make lots of grass we need fertilizer that is made from natural gas that is compressed by electricity that is made from coal that is hauled with a bio-diesel train. Then in order for a farmer to spread the fertilizer he needs energy from a soda pop that is made from corn syrup that is made from corn that needs fertilizer that is made from natural gas that is compressed with electricity that is made from coal that was hauled by a train that burns bio-diesel. Bio-diesel is made from soybeans that compete with corn but make their own nitrogen.

Now, the cowboys have traded their diesel pickups for gas saving Japanese mini trucks so they can check their cattle grazing fertilized grass. Also the cowboys are burning gasoline blended with ethanol to go to town to lobby their elected officials to do something about the increase in expenses. Congress gets busy while in air-conditioned offices run by electricity writing new laws with pens that use soy ink. Now, soybeans are competing with corn acres that are needed to supply the cowboys. Also, the paper is made from cotton fibers that must compete with soybeans that are competing with corn.

Next, is all the whiskey and beer drank at the cowboy conventions and lobbying efforts that is made from corn, wheat, rice, barley, and hops. All these must compete with soybeans that are used to make the bio-diesel for the trains and the ink that is used on cotton fiber paper that is in a letter from the Governor of Texas to the EPA.

Thus, I have figured out that the boll-weevil is to blame for the increase in food prices. Why? Here it goes. If we had more cotton production then we would need fewer acres for cotton that is competing with wheat that is competing with barley that is competing with corn used for whiskey and beer that is used at the convention that was held to lobby congress to write new laws with soy ink. Now soy is competing with corn that is used to make ethanol that needs natural gas that needs electricity to compress the gas. Electricity is made from coal that is hauled on a train that uses diesel made from soy. All this so we can feed cattle corn because Iowa farmers want corn fed beef, but they could eat grass. Meanwhile, cowboys are driving gas/ethanol mini trucks imported from a country that has banned our beef.

Or, we could just blame congress.

I hope I cleared up this issue. I'm Monte Tucker, and that is what's under my "Blame the Boll-Weevil" hat!

Monte Tucker is a fourth generation farmer and rancher from Sunny Point Oklahoma where blowing sand meets red rock (near Sweetwater, OK which is smack dab in-between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, TX).