Current Week

Issues and Opportunities

October 17, 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 -

When President Trump announced a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, he said: “It is a very big deal for farmers. The new NAFTA, which is USMCA, has a very good ring. The ag industry across the country applauds the deal.” 

The deal is not done yet. Congress must approve. There would be a lot of disappointment if we could not get that done. The U.S. Trade Office says the agreement will provide new access for U.S. products, including fluid milk, cream, butter, cheese, and other dairy products; also, chickens and eggs. All tariffs on Ag products between the U.S. and Canada will be set at Zero. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall called USMCA “a clear victory for our farmers.”

Another victory for U.S. farmers last week was President Trump’s announcement to allow 15% ethanol in our fuel the year-round. Pull into the gas station now and all the pumps say 10% ethanol. It’s easy to imagine the increase in sales if those pumps said 15% ethanol.

Today, 20 states don’t have any gas stations that sell E-15. However, if they could sell it year-round, there might be a lot more gas pumps with 15% ethanol. After all, it would be cheaper than 10% ethanol fuel.

President Trump wants to move fast so we can make E-15 available next summer. It is no surprise but big oil and environmental groups are already planning their legal challenges. The oil industry certainly would not want to see corn ethanol stealing another 5% of their gasoline market.

Here is another corn issue I just read about this week. In Mexico, there is a giant corn that grows 16 feet tall and is able to fix nitrogen. We spend a fortune on nitrogen to feed our corn crop. Our corn will not pull in nitrogen from the air so we have to buy it. Soybeans are able to fix nitrogen, which means we don’t have to apply nitrogen to our soybean fields.

Needless to say, it will take a long time to breed and develop this Mexican corn to compete with the hybrids we plant today. But if we could develop a corn that would provide its own nitrogen, that would be worth spending time and money.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to www.johnblockreports.com.

Until next week, I am John Block in down on the farm.

Previous Weeks

Gopher Frog

October 11 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 want to talk about a frog today, but before the frog hops up on the table – just a few words on the subject of trade. The U.S. trade deficit rose in August to $53.2 billion.…

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NAFTA and More

October 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 -

Issue number 1 – China is very unhappy that President Trump has imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese exports. Tensions have escalated. When I was in China with the Farm…

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Bob Lighthizer

September 27 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 -

Will President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh be approved? We may know by the time you hear this radio commentary. I think he will. It would be a sad outcome…

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This and That

September 20 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 -

Vladimir Putin of Russia wants to raise the age for his citizens to receive retirement benefits. That is what we should do to reform our Social Security retirement program.…

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Agriculture’s Message

September 13 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 wasn’t going to go down this road, but a CNN discussion and article that I have in front of me should not be ignored. Here is their criticism – they used internal e-mails…

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Uncertainty

September 5 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 -

The agriculture industry in the U.S. is dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Falling prices and trade wars top the list. We expect our exports to grow faster than our imports.…

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Labor Day 2018

September 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 -

It’s hard to believe, but summer is all but gone. We are looking at harvest season. Get that combine ready to go. Labor Day is next Monday. 

Speaking of Labor Day, I want to say…

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Wild Fires

August 23 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 -

Wild fires in California and other Western states have burned more than 1,000 square miles of timberland and grassland. 14 people have died and thousands of homes have been…

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Down on the Farm 2018

August 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 am talking to you on the phone from our farm in Illinois. Our corn and soybeans are beautiful. I picked some ears. Most ears are 18 rows round – some are 16 rows. That is a…

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This and That 2018

August 9 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 -

Good news – ethanol exports are up 33% so far this year. By year’s end, we should exceed last year’s record of 1.38 billion gallons.

Turn to hogs – we have raised hogs on…

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