Corn prices hit an all-time high overnight. There has been too much rain on the farms where it is raised in the US. The cost of the stuff is up 47% this year. Corn production is expected to be flat over the next 12 months.
It did not have to turn out this way. Monsanto (MON) recently remarked that it could "develop seeds that would double the yields of corn, soybeans and cotton by 2030 and would require 30 percent less water, land and energy to grow."
The fact of the matter is that Monsanto already has seeds which will grow on asphalt and barely need watering at all. Farmers and consumers of grain-based food have been afraid of gene-altered seed. They have feared it will make them glow in the dark or cause them to look like the aliens in "ET".
While there may be some truth to the fact that "new age" corn and other grains may not taste as good as the real stuff, there is little if any evidence that it causes humans to grow extra limbs or lose their hair.
It could be argued that it was not hard to see the food crisis coming. Millions of farmers have been driven off their land by political battles in place like Africa. Global warming causes odd and unexpected periods or drought and flooding. Each and every year, there are more people to feed.
The liabilities of products from companies like Monsanto, if there are any, are more than offset by the misery, human and financial, caused by food shortages and higher food prices.
Better to look like Popeye the sailorman than pay $100 for a loaf of corn bread.
Douglas A. McIntyre