Current Week

Pandemic Costs

July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

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 –

In recent weeks, the news has focused on the number of cases of Coronavirus and related
deaths. We are aware of the large amount of money and support that our federal government has
made available, but I’m not sure we have focused enough on the resulting family disruption and
hunger. Families are struggling to feed their children. Here in the U.S. Black and Hispanic
families are suffering the most. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent. Now on Capitol
Hill there is pressure to provide a 15% increase in food stamp benefits in a new Coronavirus Aid
Package.

Policy research at Northwestern University reports that food insecurity in 2018 for Black households was 25%. Today it is at 39%. For Hispanics, in 2018 the number was 17% and today it is 37%. The number for White children is not very good either – 22% is double what it was in 2018. Here is how they measure food insecurity. “a household that’s either uncertain about or unable to get enough food to feed everyone.”

We can expect another Coronavirus Aid Package and I think more food for those most
needy should be part of it. We have our own food challenges, but so does the rest of the world.
There are millions of families all over the world that don’t have the money to put food on the
table. The World Food Program said last week that it plans to “dramatically escalate food
assistance to feed 138 million people this year. The pandemic is making the poorest poorer and
the hungriest hungrier.” David Beasley, the World Food Program Executive Director, said “the
world could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.

There is another consequence of the pandemic that I had not thought about. Migrant workers from developing countries all over the world every year come to developed countries for work. They come to the US. They go to Germany, the UK, France, and other EU countries. Millions of Filipino, Mexicans, South Americans and Indians find work overseas and send $554 billion back to their home countries. They have come to rely on that cash. But, with the Coronavirus global disruption, the money flow to those in need is expected to decline by 20%.

Hunger will multiply. I have talked about how costly the pandemic has been to our ag industry, but we are not alone.

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

Issues of the Day

July 1 2020

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 –

For more than 2 years the U.S., Canada and Mexico have been negotiating a new North
American Free Trade Agreement. Finally, USMCA became effective this week. Even with the
new…

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China and More

June 25 2020

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, on more than one occasion, talked about President Trump and EPA in their effort
to restrain President Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule. That rule was written to restrict…

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Issues

June 18 2020

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 cover some issues of the day that may not have gotten much attention.

1. The U.S. and Russia have a long-range nuclear arms agreement that will expire next
February. The…

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We Never Know

June 12 2020

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 –

When you are farming, you are faced with a lot of unknowns - What will the weather be
like? Will these low prices ever recover? Our corn and soybeans are planted on my…

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Riots and More

June 4 2020

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 thought 2020 would be just a normal year. But – no. We were hit by the corona
pandemic, and that wasn’t enough. Suddenly a white police officer killed a black man…

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Challenges We Face

May 27 2020

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 Coronavirus came out of nowhere and has crippled the world economy, killing
thousands and thousands of people. The virus is not through yet either. Look at…

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Issues of the Day

May 20 2020

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 –

President Trump held a meeting with farm leaders on Tuesday at the White House.
Secretary Sonny Perdue explained how the $16 billion aid package passed by Congress and
signed by the…



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Mother on My Mind

May 13 2020

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 –

Being in lock down like most of our citizens and trying to celebrate Mother’s Day made
me think. My mother was so dedicated to my 2 sisters, me and of course my dad. Mom &…

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Virus is Expensive

May 6 2020

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 cost of unemployment and economic hardship from the global coronavirus pandemic
is no small change. We have not had to face anything like this since World War II. The
projected…

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Tough Times

April 29 2020

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 food industry is trying to cope with serious supply chain problems. Coronavirus has
forced dramatic change in our food production and distribution system. Restaurants and…

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