Current Week

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. Russian citizens have been protesting. Nearly 300 people have been arrested. They marched toward Red Square and the Kremlin. Our Congress is afraid to even talk about the subject, even though it is a fact that our life expectancy is so much larger than it used to be. 

President Putin wants to raise the age to qualify for benefits for men from 60 years to 65 years. The opposition is so strong that he may be forced to back off of that plan.

Turn to China – their pork prices are spiking. They are experiencing an outbreak of African swine fever. China has 700 million pigs – half the world’s population of pigs. They want to contain the outbreak. Of course, they could just buy more pork from us. It’s more costly with our tariffs in place. African swine fever is not easily eradicated. No vaccines or effective treatments are available. Humans are not at risk, but the virus is deadly to pigs. The disease has spread to four provinces. It will not be easy to contain the epidemic. They might have to buy our pork.

I want to put the subject of immigration on the table. Our agriculture industry is having a difficult time finding the labor to do a lot of farm chores. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has legislation to overhaul the H-2A guest worker program. It is called H-2C. His bill has a lot of critics because it requires our employers to verify the workers’ legal status. I don’t think it is going anywhere now. We need a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and there just isn’t any interest in compromise.

And when we do some day decide to deal with immigration – yes, seal the border. But what about the thousands who have come here on legal visas? Homeland Security reports that 700,000 failed to depart as scheduled. Seven months later, 421,000 were still here. 

About 200,000 never leave. That is about how many sneak in over the border. It is time we stopped ignoring visa overstays.

I’m on the farm this week. Harvest time.

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

Back From China

July 7 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 are some of my observations after two weeks in China, leading a delegation of 30 farm broadcasters and farm leaders. It is not the China that I visited 40 years ago. That…

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Keep Food Programs at the USDA

June 28 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. 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 Trump Administration reportedly plans to move up to $110 billion of USDA food assistance programs to a new “welfare” agency…

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Trade and China

June 21 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 headed to China this week with 30 farm broadcasters and farm and ranch leaders. We will talk to Ambassador Terry Branstad and other U.S. representatives in our Embassy and…

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China

June 14 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 -

Next week, I am going to China. Last November, I was asked by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters to lead a team of farm broadcasters and ag leaders to visit China. At…

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Issues

June 7 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 could be announced any time, but we still don’t know. Will the EPA provide a waiver to allow the sale of E15 ethanol blended fuel during the summer? Right now, the sale of…

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This and That

May 31 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 some different issues to talk to you about today. President Trump and Conservative Members of Congress have been trying to cut back on wasteful spending. The President…

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Issues and Headlines

May 24 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 -

Topping the chart on America’s farms and ranches has been worries about a trade war. The United States and China threatened tariffs and trade restrictions. We announced $150…

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Trade and the Farm Bill

May 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 -

I was on the farm in Illinois last week. I went into the coffee shop, talked to neighbors, and all the questions were about a trade war and the farm bill legislation. Almost…

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Down on the Farm 2018

May 10 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.

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I was wondering if spring would ever come. We had snow on the farm just 3 weeks ago. Suddenly, things changed. The sun came out, and it began to dry and warm the soil. I’m on…

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Farmer’s Worry

May 3 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, ranchers, and the whole ag industry have a lot to worry about. Start with farm income – our income has been cut in half over the last 3 or 4 years. There are some…

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