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Issues of the Day

January 16, 2020

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 fallen below the $20 billion mark will jump to $40 billion per year. The Senate should vote to pass USMCA. We have a new agreement with Japan. Here is how important those countries are to the American farmer - China, Canada, Mexico, and Japan – those four countries account for more than 50% of ag exports. I think it’s time to celebrate.

There is one disputed issue that this Administration has not been able to fix. Corn farmers are not satisfied. Did you know that 40% of our corn is processed into ethanol and distillers dried grain? Our EPA has provided exemptions for small refineries to avoid the target
of 15 billion gallons of ethanol added to our gasoline. EPA says that they will insure that the 15 billion gallon number is met.

Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are not satisfied. This is their statement “No matter what the EPA says about the impact of waivers to oil companies making billions of dollars, farmers and biofuel producers feel the negative impact of the agency’s actions.” Goeff Cooper, President of the Renewal Fuels Association said, “The EPA action fails to deliver on President Trump’s commitment.” I would say this dispute is not over yet.

Since we seem to be in a constant confrontation with China, let’s look at China. The Chinese population is 1.38 billion. That is more than 4 times our population of 330 million. With all of those people their land mass is roughly the same size as the U.S. There is the important difference. We have twice as much arable crop land as they do. Unless something dramatic happens, they will need to import a lot of food to feed all those hungry mouths. That is our opportunity.

Last subject – Conservation Reserve Programs. That was part of the 1985 Farm Bill when I was Secretary of Agriculture. The purpose was to take fragile, erodible land out of production. We have about 22.3 million acres in the program now. That grass land is scheduled to increase to 27 million acres in the next year or two. Adding a few acres to the reserve will help wildlife and could lift our prices a little.

Previous Weeks

Issues of the Day

August 14 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 –

Corn and soybean prices have taken a dive this week, USDA estimates our farmers planted 90 million acres of corn this year.  The trade didn’t expect that many planted acres. …

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Trade and GE Tech

August 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 –

As much as we would like to – the Ag industry can not escape the week to week and day to day damage that our industry suffers from the ongoing trade fights.  It is just back…

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The Ag Industry

July 31 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 –

We keep reading that unless we increase farm production, we won’t be able to feed all the people in the world by 2050.  One way to boost food production is to respond to higher…

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Budget Deal

July 25 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 –

There were a lot of doubters, including myself, but it looks like we will get a budget deal.  It will raise our national debt ceiling and set new spending limits for 2 years. …

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Trade

July 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 –

Some listeners might get tired of hearing about trade disputes.  Why are they important?  Well, for the ag industry it makes the difference between profit and loss because we…

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Down on the Farm

July 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 –

Here I am on the farm in Illinois.  I will update you on what I see, but first I still have our Independence Day Celebration on my mind.  All the national attention and the…

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2019 Independence Day

July 3 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 –

We have just celebrated another Independence Day – parades, fireworks, flags waving.  My flag is up and waving all the time, but on the 4th of July it is really showing off. …

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Issues of the Day

June 27 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 –

Hot issues of the day – Are we going to war with Iran?  They did shoot down one of our drones worth more than $130 million.  News reports tell us that in response, President…

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Uncertainty in Agriculture

June 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 a prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Agri-Pulse Daybreak reported “when asked if he could say when the U.S. and China would reach an agreement to end this trade war, the U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg…

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Did You Know

June 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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Finally – my corn and soybeans are in the ground.  However, as of last Sunday there were 15.8 million U.S. corn acres still unplanted.  The wet spring and ticking time clock…

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