Current Week

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 2018 year.

Trade war - we are already being hurt, but here are some encouraging developments since President Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel. Chinese President Xi’s response was strong and aggressive. But now he says he is committed to strengthening protection of intellectual property and he could mount a drive to increase our imports to China. That should reduce China’s trade surplus with the U.S. Trump responded to President Xi, “Very thankful to President XI for his kind words on tariffs, and automobile barriers, also his enlightenment on intellectual property. We will make great progress together.”

Anyway there is hope. Wait and see.

Ethanol – EPA has been giving refineries “hardship” exemptions from renewable-fuel requirements – which decrease the use of ethanol. Farm state leaders and Midwest members of Congress are up in arms.

The Ag industry does have powerful influence. President Trump is siding with his farmer supporters. The gasoline you put in your car is 10% ethanol today. President Trump says he will increase that percentage to 15%. That could create big demand for corn. Ethanol is already very popular because it is higher octane and less expensive than gasoline. Although EPA in 2011 approved E15 for 2001 and newer cars, it is sold in less than 1% of gas stations. Not surprising the oil industry doesn’t want to expand the market for corn fuel. However, I am confident it is going to happen.

Bob Dinneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Assn. said, “this will have a meaningful and positive impact on an important value-added market that corn growers have developed.” Does President Trump have the authority to just raise the requirement from 10% to 15%? We’re not sure. It is possible that more could require Congressional action. Hope we can get it done.

Will we be able to conclude our (NAFTA) negotiations with Mexico and Canada? We are getting positive feedback that is encouraging. Right now there are more questions than answers for our farmers and ranchers.

Stay tuned –

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Previous Weeks

Donald Trump

July 6 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 President Donald Trump – policies, issues, tweets and all. Yes, I think he tweets too much or, at least, he should limit his tweets to policies and avoid personal attacks. I…

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Ag Issues 2017

June 28 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—

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted the announcement of this year’s World Food Prize Foundation laureate. At one time, he was the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and now runs the African…

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This and That 2017

June 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—

Tip of the day— “Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.” “One in five adults don’t know that hamburgers are beef.” We have a major education…

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Government Overreach

June 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 talked this week with John Duarte, a California farmer. He is in trouble. He bought 450 acres in 2012. He plowed it and planted it to wheat. He now faces $2.8 million in civil penalties because he did not…

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Trade and Climate Change

June 8 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—

Two subjects today – It is time to renegotiate NAFTA, but we don’t want to get into a fight that could cost agriculture. Mexico does not have any tariffs on our farm exports. Mexico spends $19 billion on…

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Branstad and Horses

June 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—

I have two subjects to cover today. One that is very hopeful – Governor Terry Branstad, now Ambassador Terry Branstad, is headed to China. The other issue, which is not very hopeful, has to do with horses.

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Budget

May 25 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—

Back in March, President Trump gave us a look at his budget plan. Although without much detail, it made clear to us that one of his highest priorities was to downsize the federal government. And, he would do…

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Two Issues

May 18 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—

“Trump’s Tax Plan Would Spur Growth” – that is the headline in a recent Wall Street Journal paper. First, let me say that President Trump’s tax reform plan is not very specific. I think that is good.…

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GE Science

May 11 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 am encouraged. I think that we have some pretty strong voices in the Trump Administration speaking out in support of agriculture. Our strongest voice comes from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He said…

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Perdue’s Agenda

May 4 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—

It’s only been a week since confirmation, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has hit the ground running. He has ordered that schools be given more flexibility in their school lunch programs, more local…

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