Current Week

Pandemic Costs

July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

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 –

In recent weeks, the news has focused on the number of cases of Coronavirus and related
deaths. We are aware of the large amount of money and support that our federal government has
made available, but I’m not sure we have focused enough on the resulting family disruption and
hunger. Families are struggling to feed their children. Here in the U.S. Black and Hispanic
families are suffering the most. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent. Now on Capitol
Hill there is pressure to provide a 15% increase in food stamp benefits in a new Coronavirus Aid
Package.

Policy research at Northwestern University reports that food insecurity in 2018 for Black households was 25%. Today it is at 39%. For Hispanics, in 2018 the number was 17% and today it is 37%. The number for White children is not very good either – 22% is double what it was in 2018. Here is how they measure food insecurity. “a household that’s either uncertain about or unable to get enough food to feed everyone.”

We can expect another Coronavirus Aid Package and I think more food for those most
needy should be part of it. We have our own food challenges, but so does the rest of the world.
There are millions of families all over the world that don’t have the money to put food on the
table. The World Food Program said last week that it plans to “dramatically escalate food
assistance to feed 138 million people this year. The pandemic is making the poorest poorer and
the hungriest hungrier.” David Beasley, the World Food Program Executive Director, said “the
world could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.

There is another consequence of the pandemic that I had not thought about. Migrant workers from developing countries all over the world every year come to developed countries for work. They come to the US. They go to Germany, the UK, France, and other EU countries. Millions of Filipino, Mexicans, South Americans and Indians find work overseas and send $554 billion back to their home countries. They have come to rely on that cash. But, with the Coronavirus global disruption, the money flow to those in need is expected to decline by 20%.

Hunger will multiply. I have talked about how costly the pandemic has been to our ag industry, but we are not alone.

Until next week, this 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

Issues of the Day

February 13 2020

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 –

I think we are all aware that many countries in Africa have a long way to go to modernize their ag industry.  Their food systems need to be transformed…

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Busy Week

February 6 2020

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 –

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week were something for the record books.  On Monday, the first state Iowa held their primary to begin the selection…

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Milk

January 30 2020

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 subject that I want to focus on today is milk.  We keep reading about how many dairy farms have sold their cows and closed their barns.  We…

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American Farm Bureau and More

January 23 2020

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 –

Today, I am calling this program in on the phone.  Farmers and the whole agriculture industry fought through 2019, a very brutal year.  Exports,…

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Issues of the Day

January 16 2020

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 ag industry is excited as a number of trade deals are coming together. We will have a phase one deal with China signed this week. Our annual exports to China that have…

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Stock Market and Middle East

January 9 2020

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 –

As we closed out a very volatile 2019 with some significant victories on trade, on cutting regulations, and on approving conservative new judges for our court system – I did not…

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Look Back and Ahead

January 2 2020

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you bythe 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 –

It’s a New Year. 2020 got here so fast. I want to look back at 2019. For the American ag industry, I think the weather made our production challenges more difficult than I can…

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Christmas

December 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 –

Merry Christmas to everyone. I realize that Christmas is not a holiday to celebrate for
some people in our country and many more around the world. We should keep in mind…

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Exciting Week

December 19 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 –

Just when I had concluded that we couldn’t get anything done here in Washington, everything happened at once.

We have a trade deal with China. …

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Football

December 12 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 –

On November 28 we celebrated Thanksgiving. Christmas will be here before you know it. Christmas trees will be decorated with lights and gifts all around. Here in the United…

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