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Farm Economy and More

December 4, 2019

December 4, 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

I want to cover some trade issues today, but first let’s take a look at our farm economy.
It’s better than it was last year – better than it was the year before. $92 billion net income is the
forecast. Where is it coming from? The answer according to USDA’s Economic Research
Service, 31% of the $92 billion comes from the Dept of Agriculture. USDA provides money to
support farmers hurt by the tariff war, and crop insurance has stepped in to carry farmers through.
Projections are that corn farmers will see a 20% increase in their net income this year. Wheat
farmers can expect a 35% boost, soybean farmers 34%, and cotton farms can look for a 18%
increase. Dairy, with a significant jump in milk prices, expects 47%. Pork producers will come
home with 24% more money. Cattle up 10% and poultry down a little.

Farmers and ranchers have been suffering since 2014. Could this be the turn around? Well,
it’s not a real turn around unless we start getting more money out of the market. Thanks to the
Department of Agriculture farms will be able to stay in business for another year. Some good
news for the ethanol industry – New York State, the 4th largest fuel market opened the door to sell
15% ethanol gasoline. There are still 5 states that do not allow 15% ethanol in their fuel. New
York won’t be pumping 15% ethanol fuel overnight, but it is coming. Other states that approved
E-15 earlier this year saw E-15 sales jump 46% compared with 2018.

Turn to Trade – Just when I was getting optimistic about the U.S. China Trade dispute and
all the tariffs – out of nowhere President Trump tweets new tariffs on Argentina and Brazilian steel
and aluminum. Trump is unhappy with the “massive devaluation of their currencies.” We don’t
know when tariffs will be imposed. Perhaps we could see an agreement to back off.

My judgement is that we have too many balls in the air. Let’s get the China deal done. Put
the pressure on Nancy Pelosi to vote on the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.
Last subject is an H-2A bipartisan labor bill that could be very valuable to our ag industry.
We need workers to milk the cows, butcher the hogs and pick the strawberries. It’s too soon to
know if this bill has a chance.

Until next week, this John Block reporting from Washington, D.C. If you would like to
review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to
www.johnblockreports.com.

Previous Weeks

Thanksgiving

November 28 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

            And now for today’s commentary –

Today, I have a number of subjects to talk about. The Trade War with China
seems to be a priority every week. The Congress passed a bill with overwhelming
support…

Listen

Challenges We Face

November 21 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

            And now for today’s commentary –

I have a number of subjects I will put on the table today.  I want to open by reporting that I thought the National Association of Farm…

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Issues at NAFB

November 14 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

After I record this week’s radio commentary, I will head for the airport to fly straight to Kansas City to attend the Farm Broadcasters Convention.  There is no…

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Trade Deals

November 7 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

All we hear about are the trade deals we can’t get completed.  Our new agreement with Mexico and Canada (USMCA) sits in limbo without Congressional approval.  We…

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Congressional Circus

October 31 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

The U.S. ag industry is riding a rough road right now.  President Trump says a Phase I “trade deal with China is ahead of schedule.”  If we can get that done,…

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Bring ‘Em Home

October 24 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Kurdish fighters are moving to North Eastern Syria.  Turkey is moving in to their position.  U.S. Troops are pulling out of that region of Syria and for two…

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Rough Road We Ride

October 17 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you. 

And now for today’s commentary –

We are all quite aware that the Ag Industry has had it tough the last 3 or 4 years. Let’s look at what we have experienced. Some of these numbers come from Successful Farming…

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This and That

October 10 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –
The meat industry in the U.S. has been shaken by the explosion of fake meat. Go into your favorite fast food restaurant and you can order a burger that’s not meat. It tastes like…


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The Harvest

October 3 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Last week I was on the farm.  Looking out over the fields of corn and soybeans, I couldn’t help but recall how hard it was to get this year’s crop in the…

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GE Salmon

September 26 2019

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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

I will be on our farm in Illinois later in the week.  We haven’t harvested any corn or beans yet, but it is time to get started.  When I look out over our…

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