Current Week

How Do We Raise Prices?

April 22, 2017

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

And now for today’s commentary—

I can report that I was on my Illinois farm last week. Weather was beautiful and we planted 360 acres of corn. Then it rained. At least we got started. It is always exciting when you first hit the field with hope and optimism of a good crop. With grain prices scraping the bottom and farm income cut in half, we need a good year.

Farmers in this country are looking for ways to lift their prices. Some think we should have more conservation reserve acres. We have 24M acres of environmentally fragile land out of production now. The government pays land owners to put it in grass. With less acres growing

grain, we can expect better prices and less soil erosion. Senator John Thune (R-SD) wants to pass legislation to raise the conservation acres from 24M to 30M. The first question is – how much would this cost? I thought we were trying to reduce spending.

Another way to boost prices would be to increase exports. You cannot have coffee with farmers at the Grand View Restaurant without the subject of more exports on the table. When President Trump met with the Chinese President, exports were on his list. China

has blocked exports of our beef to their country since 2003 because we had a case of mad cow disease. Fine – other countries did the same, but most have lifted the ban long ago. That was 14 years ago. China is the second largest beef importer in the world, but we don’t have any of that market. Australia has most of it.

Most people don’t know this, but we have closed the door on Chinese chicken. Now if we open the chicken door, maybe they will open the beef door. Let’s hope. Of course, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had many important issues to discuss, but trade was not overlooked. Secretary of State Tillerson, our Commerce Secretary Ross, and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin all pushed for more U.S. exports. The U.S. and China agreed to put together a “100 day plan” to reduce our trade deficit with China. You have to start somewhere.

Since we are not going to be a player in TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), we have to getindividual countries to open their markets. Go to any farm event anywhere in the country and the question is – “How are we going to increase demand and lift prices?” That’s the challenge.

As we rush to plant this new crop, be careful. Don’t take chances. 30,000 individuals are killed in farm accidents each year. 

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

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Trade

February 2 2017

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

And now for today’s commentary—

I want to focus on trade today. From agriculture’s perspective, it is extremely important. 25% of ag income comes from products sold to other countries. Production from 1 out of every 3 acres is exported.…

Read More/Listen

Perdue as Ag Secretary

January 26 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America. 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 am calling this program in on the telephone from Florida. You know what farmers work so hard for – “corn, beans, and Florida.” The news of the day is that Donald Trump is President.…

Read More/Listen

Barack Hussein Obama – a Retrospective

January 19 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

Until next week, I am Rick Frank for John Block from Washington, D.C.

And now for today’s commentary— 

As we prepare to launch the Trump Administration, I thought it useful…

Read More/Listen

Priorities for 2017

January 12 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  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 know some people are not happy to see Donald Trump move into the White House.  However, many others are very excited.  Just go to rural America.  Farmers, ranchers, and most red…

Read More/Listen

Last Minute Executive Orders

January 5 2017

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

And now for today’s commentary—  

Since 1981, I have seen, watched, and participated in a number of changes of power in the White House.  President Obama committed to a smooth transition of power to PresidentElect…

Read More/Listen

New Year 2017

December 28 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  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 new year is upon us.  2017, like any new year, presents many unknowns – perhaps even more this year.  I want to review where we are at today and look at where we may be going next…

Read More/Listen

Merry Christmas

December 22 2016

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

And now for today’s commentary—  

Merry Christmas to everyone out there.  This is the most celebrated holiday of the year and has been since our nation was founded.  It seems like so many things come together and change…

Read More/Listen

Vilsak Eight Years

December 14 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  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 – along with 2 other former Secretaries of Agriculture (Ann Veneman and  Dan Glickman) – attended the portrait unveiling ceremony of Secretary Tom Vilsack at the…

Read More/Listen

Trade Undersecretary

December 7 2016

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

And now for today’s commentary—  

There is a lot of talk today abut the next farm bill.  What will be in it?  When will we get it done?  But I think the ag industry should remind the new Secretary of Agriculture when…

Read More/Listen

Cuba and More

December 1 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  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 review a few issues today as we plan our farming operation and look over the horizon at next year’s opportunities and challenges.  U.S. farm income this year is expected to…

Read More/Listen

Page 2 of 95 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›