Current Week

Opportunities & Challenges

February 16, 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 -

I have a number of subjects to put on the table today.

To open this up, I want to remind everyone just how our farm and ranch economy is suffering today. Farm income is expected to fall 7% to $60 billion this year. That is less than half what it was just 5 years ago. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “The state of the rural economy is fragile.” When adjusted for inflation, farm income is forecast to be at the lowest level since 2002.

On top of our income problem, nearly 40 of our states are suffering from drought and getting worse every week. The south, west, and high plains are suffering the most. Our winter wheat crop has already been damaged.

At this time, I have not read very much about drought in the Midwest. However, in talking to farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and other states, they are concerned. The tiles on my farm in Illinois are hardly running. Last year at this time, our subsoil was saturated.

President Trump just released his proposed budget and it could have some influence on the money available for agriculture. Of course, we should remember that Presidents’ budgets are “dead on arrival” – because the Congress decides who gets the money and how much. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) had this to say: “We are writing this farm bill under dramatically different circumstances than the last bill four years ago, when prices were high and rural America was thriving.” I believe that the challenges that agriculture faces today will help to protect farm program funding – especially crop insurance.

Another plus for rural America could be President Trump’s infrastructure plan. The President wants to invest $200 billion with states and private companies providing the rest. According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “The plan would invest significantly in our rural communities, improving broad band access, internet, water systems, roads, and more.” I have to ask the question – can our Congress come together and pass major infrastructure legislation?

I don’t know. There should be bipartisan support for some kind of a bill. We have already passed legislation to spend a lot of money that we don’t have. Why not just spend some more. I can’t believe I said that – I have always been a “deficit hawk.”

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

Until next week, I am John Block from

Previous Weeks

Political Conflict

February 8 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 -

There is no shortage of issues to talk about here in Washington, D.C. President Trump and the Republican Party are adamant that the FBI and the Justice Department acted in a very…

Read More/Listen

Senator Bob Dole

January 31 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 -

Today, my subject is Senator Bob Dole (Kansas). Two weeks ago, he received the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest award bestowed by the U.S. Congress. Very few individuals…

Read More/Listen

The Shutdown and Immigration 2018

January 24 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. 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 -

It is Tuesday, January 23, and the U.S. government has just reopened. There is no excuse for the three-day shutdown caused by our…

Read More/Listen

The Shutdown and Immigration 2018

January 24 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. 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 -

It is Tuesday, January 23, and the U.S. government has just reopened. There is no excuse

for the three-day shutdown caused by our…

Read More/Listen

Good Things Done

January 17 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 -

From my perspective, our government has been getting some good things done.

Remember a year ago when hundreds of out-of-town thugs blocked the construction of the North Dakota…

Read More/Listen

Trump - AFBF Speech

January 11 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 -

It has been 25 years since a President of the United States addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The last President to speak was President George H. W. Bush.…

Read More/Listen

Christmas and a New Year

December 28 2017

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 -

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. With this holiday season and the New Year upon usold memories from the past come flooding in to my mind. It’s time to relax and think about…

Read More/Listen

Tax Holiday Reform Passes

December 21 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -

The Holiday season is here. Amazing – Tax reform legislation has passed, and President Trump has signed it. That is a big Christmas present.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress got it done without any…

Read More/Listen

Egg Regulations

December 14 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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 –

Maybe the “chickens are coming home to roost” in California. The state of California can’t think of enough new regulations. In 2015 California passed legislation…

Read More/Listen

Duarte vs. Big Government

December 7 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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—

You may have heard about the John Duarte wetlands case. John Duarte, a California farmer, bought 450 acres in 2012. He plowed and planted it to wheat. The Army Corps of…

Read More/Listen

Page 1 of 99 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›