Current Week

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 good sign. Our early corn is starting to dent. I think the corn crop is made. A rain would not help the corn vey much but it sure would be good for the soybeans. The ground is dry. Soybeans could use some moisture to help fill the bean pods. Is this crop better than last year? I think so. 

The fact is – there are lots of good crops across the Midwest. The USDA is telling us that. We are cleaning out our grain bins and getting ready for the new crop. Farmers around here predict an early start at harvest. The hot weather has pushed the crop to dry. Today, we shipped a trailer load of market hogs. They will weigh at least 280 pounds each. They grow to 280 pounds in less than 6 months. I have raised pigs all my life and have never seen the herd health as perfect as ours is today. It is exciting to see the corn, soybeans, and hogs doing so well.

Our markets are another story. We can’t predict with any certainty what prices will look like through harvest and into next year. Most farmers have sold their old crop, but the new crop is of concern now. We have two things that weigh heavy on our prices – record size crop and trade war worries. One positive development is that wheat reserves are down. Russia and Ukraine had a bad crop. Keep in mind that Russia is the number one wheat exporter in the world. The European wheat crop wasn’t very good either. That should help to lift corn prices some.

The trade war talk has pushed prices down also. There is hope that we could reach a deal with Mexico – maybe Canada. That would fix NAFTA and then negotiate a deal with Europe. We need momentum toward resolution. That could give President Trump some leverage in Chinese talks. Unfortunately, I don’t expect a deal with China very soon. The reason is this – Trump is serious in pressing Chinese trade reforms and China is stubborn. I think our farm products will be in demand around the world. Somebody will want my corn, soybeans, and pork. It just might be somebody different this year. The trade dispute is shaking up trading relations. In the end, that might be a good thing, but for now – we worry. 

I went to the Illinois State Fair yesterday. Looking at all of the cattle and hogs reminded me of years ago when I showed my 4-H pigs at the fair.

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 -- down on the farm.

Previous Weeks

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.

And now for today’s commentary -

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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North Korea

April 25 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 -

A few months ago, did we ever think that direct talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula could ever happen? Of…

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Uncertain Times

April 19 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 and ranchers across the U.S. are under a lot of stress as we enter planting season. Farm income has been cut in half and uncertainty fills the air as we move into the…

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Debt

April 12 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 is what I read in the Wall Street Journal – “Deficit financing has become the mother’s milk of politics. Each party is giving the other its wish list with all the…

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Clean Meat

April 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 -

All the time, we hear the loud voices of consumer groups that insist the public must be informed about the food we eat. “Label it organic.” “If it has GMOs, the consumer…

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Trade

March 28 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 -

Pick up a paper or turn on the TV – It’s all about trade.

So that’s the subject I’m going to talk about today. Will there be a trade war? Our agriculture industry that…

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