Current Week

Uncertain Times

April 19, 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

Farmers and ranchers across the U.S. are under a lot of stress as we enter planting season. Farm income has been cut in half and uncertainty fills the air as we move into the 2018 year.

Trade war - we are already being hurt, but here are some encouraging developments since President Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel. Chinese President Xi’s response was strong and aggressive. But now he says he is committed to strengthening protection of intellectual property and he could mount a drive to increase our imports to China. That should reduce China’s trade surplus with the U.S. Trump responded to President Xi, “Very thankful to President XI for his kind words on tariffs, and automobile barriers, also his enlightenment on intellectual property. We will make great progress together.”

Anyway there is hope. Wait and see.

Ethanol – EPA has been giving refineries “hardship” exemptions from renewable-fuel requirements – which decrease the use of ethanol. Farm state leaders and Midwest members of Congress are up in arms.

The Ag industry does have powerful influence. President Trump is siding with his farmer supporters. The gasoline you put in your car is 10% ethanol today. President Trump says he will increase that percentage to 15%. That could create big demand for corn. Ethanol is already very popular because it is higher octane and less expensive than gasoline. Although EPA in 2011 approved E15 for 2001 and newer cars, it is sold in less than 1% of gas stations. Not surprising the oil industry doesn’t want to expand the market for corn fuel. However, I am confident it is going to happen.

Bob Dinneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Assn. said, “this will have a meaningful and positive impact on an important value-added market that corn growers have developed.” Does President Trump have the authority to just raise the requirement from 10% to 15%? We’re not sure. It is possible that more could require Congressional action. Hope we can get it done.

Will we be able to conclude our (NAFTA) negotiations with Mexico and Canada? We are getting positive feedback that is encouraging. Right now there are more questions than answers for our farmers and ranchers.

Stay tuned –

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Previous Weeks

Debt

April 12 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

Here is what I read in the Wall Street Journal – “Deficit financing has become the mother’s milk of politics. Each party is giving the other its wish list with all the…

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Clean Meat

April 4 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

All the time, we hear the loud voices of consumer groups that insist the public must be informed about the food we eat. “Label it organic.” “If it has GMOs, the consumer…

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Trade

March 28 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

Pick up a paper or turn on the TV – It’s all about trade.

So that’s the subject I’m going to talk about today. Will there be a trade war? Our agriculture industry that…

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Ag Day and RFS

March 22 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

This week, Tuesday March 20, we celebrated National Ag Day. The event was held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, featuring Vice President Mike Pence as speaker. My focus…

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Where to From Here?

March 15 2018

“Where To From Here?”

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

I don’t think we have any idea where the Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum will take us. There is still a lot of concern about how they could…

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Tariffs

March 8 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

Just when I was so comfortable with President Trump’s follow through with so many of his campaign promises - Conservative judges, tax reform, cuts in regulations, and securing…

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Creativity

March 1 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

If we are anything in this country, we are creative – from the Internet to GPS driving my tractor planting corn.

Did you know that Goodyear Tire Company is now using soybean oil…

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Down on the Farm 2018

February 22 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

I have been on the farm in Illinois the last few days. As we loaded a semi with market hogs and I walked through the barns with baby pigs, it made me think once again about the…

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Opportunities & Challenges

February 16 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

I have a number of subjects to put on the table today.

To open this up, I want to remind everyone just how our farm and ranch economy is suffering today. Farm income is expected…

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Political Conflict

February 8 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

There is no shortage of issues to talk about here in Washington, D.C. President Trump and the Republican Party are adamant that the FBI and the Justice Department acted in a very…

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