Current Week

Farm Bill

August 16, 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—

Today, I’m going to talk about the farm bill, but before I get started on that, my thoughts on the tragic Charlottesville riots where a hate monger from a different state slammed into the crowd with his car killing one young lady and injuring many others. The intention of the white nationalist rally was to prevent the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The result was death and destruction. President Trump condemned the Ku Klux Klan and Neo Nazis. “Hatred and bigotry have no place in America.” He also said, “There is blame on both sides.”

I agree, but this is not the first example of race rioting and probably will not be the last. Remember Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas – and other examples of confrontation fueled by the violent left; property destroyed, cars burned, stores ransacked, police officers shot. There are bad people out there on both sides. We don’t need these kinds of unlawful and sometimes deadly encounters.

Now, let’s consider the farm bill. Congress started writing farm bills in the 1930s to help farmers through the Great Depression. Every four or five years, we get a new farm bill. The farm bill is more than farm programs. Nutrition programs, including food stamps, spend about 80% of the money. Then, we have farm supports led by crop insurance, conservation, and the Forest Service. Our current farm bill runs out September 30, 2018 – little more than one year from now. There has been some talk of separating the nutrition programs from the farm programs. That will not work. Food programs and farm programs need to find common ground. I think they will. There is pressure to cut the overall spending, but then the question is, who do you take the money from? And, the battle begins.

On the food stamp front, one approach to save some money would be to impose some work requirements on able-bodied recipients. We have twice as many on food stamps today as we did when I was Secretary of Agriculture.

Crop insurance could be a target, but I think it will stand its ground. Cotton is looking for help, and so is dairy. Wheat production is down, and they may be able to justify some bump up in support.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committee Members are having hearing sessions with farmers and others interested in the bill. This is just the beginning. Secretary Perdue took an RV tour with stops in five Midwest states. These are listening sessions now, but the real business will start soon.

My opinion on the 2018 farm bill, when all is said and done, is that it will not be very different from the one we have now. Stay tuned.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to

www.johnblockreports.com. Have a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Trump’s Budget

March 23 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—

All the talk in this town is about the Donald Trump Budget. Defense hawks say the $54B increase in defense spending is not enough. Liberals cry that the long list of cuts in spending on many non-defense…

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Farm Economy

March 15 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 was back on the farm in Illinois last week. I’m glad to report that the pigs are healthy and happy, and we are ready to start planting next month. Some farms are not as fortunate.

Wild fires have burned…

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Organic Foods

March 9 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—

Before focusing on today’s ag issue, I want to pay tribute to Clayton Yeutter. Clayton passed away Saturday, March 4 – age 86 – having served as U.S. Trade Ambassador and Secretary of Agriculture for…

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Trump Speaks

March 1 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—

President Trump’s first major address to a joint session of Congress got a lot of attention. He told us what he is going to do. He reminded us what he has already done. He worked to sell his vision for the…

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Two Issues

February 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 have two issues to put forward today. They aren’t related, but we are going to have more discussion about each of them this year. 

President Trump tells us he will put forth a tax reform plan with tax…

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Controversy is Good

February 15 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— 

The headlines in the papers and on the evening highlights: “White House in Crisis” and “Conflicts Between Trump Appointees.” Yes – for anyone following the new President and Republican Congress’s…

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Regulations

February 9 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—

President Trump is aggressively working to relieve the heavy burden of excessive regulations imposed on businesses in recent years. Remember what President Reagan said about regulations: “A government…

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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.…

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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.…

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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…

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