Current Week

This and That

October 10, 2019

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 a hamburger, but it is soybeans and peas and who knows what. Beyond Meat is one of the companies selling the plant-based burgers and the company’s stock is up 4-fold this year. The meat industry is fighting to stop their new competitors from using the word “meat.” It’s not meat. The dairy industry doesn’t want to hear the word almond milk either. We’ve got something to chew on now. The battle has just begun.

Here is some good news. For years we have been told – red meat is bad for you. Processed meat must be avoided. Now we have a new scientific review by a respected team of researchers. They report that the connection between red and processed meat and cardiovascular health, cancer risk and other health outcomes is not clear. The evidence is not there to recommend that we reduce our consumption of red meat or processed meat. The scientific community is divided on this issue. Consumers will be confused but I’ll feel good when I order my steak and bacon burger.

Some other positive news is that U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and Japanese Trade Envoy signed a new bilateral trade deal. The agreement will give U.S. agriculture equal access to the Japanese market that was negotiated in the Asian trade deal that President Trump pulled the U.S. out of. President Trump called the new pact with Japan a “game changer” for farmers and ranchers.
Trade talks with China this week. Optimism is not what it could be. On Monday President Trump “blacklisted” 8 Chinese companies. The U.S. will not sell them products that they use in surveillance of Muslim minorities in Western China. Our action is not going to be a positive step for trade negotiations. China has been buying more of our soybeans and pork in the last week or two to warm the atmosphere. Now we have poured cold water on the meeting. I still hold some hope.

Until next week, this is 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

Global Economy

May 9 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 –

Is this a global economy or what? We have been in a trade war with China for nearly 2 years. Farm and ranch exports have suffered a dramatic set back. Soybean prices are in the…

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Spring 2019

May 1 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 Sunday former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar died. He served 36 years in the U.S. Senate – what an outstanding leader and great guy. In 1985 we had to write and pass a new farm…

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Down on the Farm April 2019

April 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 –

Earlier this week, I was on the farm in Illinois, and I want to talk to you about that.

I had a chance to meet and talk to neighbors and friends, and I always ask them about their…

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What’s Ahead

April 18 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 –

This weekend I will be on my farm in Illinois.  When I booked my flight, I thought we might be planting corn.  Not likely – too much rain.

At this moment I am looking at the…

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Creativity

April 11 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 –

From farm to fork the food industry is doing more than its share to hold inflation down.  The US Department of Agriculture projects only a 1 percent increase in the cost to…

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Swine Fever & USMCA

April 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 –

What should we focus on today?  Let’s start with African Swine Fever.  ASF is the deadliest disease threatening the pork industry.  It is estimated that China has lost as much…

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No Collusion

March 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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

After 2 long years of distraction and political attacks, Special Counsel Muller released his report.  “The Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with the Russian…

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Issues of the Day

March 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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Let’s begin with hemp.  When I was a little boy, hemp was growing wild on the roadsides and ditches.  It was harvested to make rope during World War II.  It is a close relative…

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The President’s Budget

March 13 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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

  And now for today’s commentary –

Issues of the Day.  The President’s Budget.  If everything goes according to plan, when we enter our next fiscal year, October 1, we will have a budget passed by the Congress with…

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Land Grab

March 6 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 –

Did you know that Congress passed legislation authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to spend 9 billion dollars to buy private land?  The Department of Interior…

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