Current Week

This and That

September 20, 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 -

Vladimir Putin of Russia wants to raise the age for his citizens to receive retirement benefits. That is what we should do to reform our Social Security retirement program. Russian citizens have been protesting. Nearly 300 people have been arrested. They marched toward Red Square and the Kremlin. Our Congress is afraid to even talk about the subject, even though it is a fact that our life expectancy is so much larger than it used to be. 

President Putin wants to raise the age to qualify for benefits for men from 60 years to 65 years. The opposition is so strong that he may be forced to back off of that plan.

Turn to China – their pork prices are spiking. They are experiencing an outbreak of African swine fever. China has 700 million pigs – half the world’s population of pigs. They want to contain the outbreak. Of course, they could just buy more pork from us. It’s more costly with our tariffs in place. African swine fever is not easily eradicated. No vaccines or effective treatments are available. Humans are not at risk, but the virus is deadly to pigs. The disease has spread to four provinces. It will not be easy to contain the epidemic. They might have to buy our pork.

I want to put the subject of immigration on the table. Our agriculture industry is having a difficult time finding the labor to do a lot of farm chores. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has legislation to overhaul the H-2A guest worker program. It is called H-2C. His bill has a lot of critics because it requires our employers to verify the workers’ legal status. I don’t think it is going anywhere now. We need a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and there just isn’t any interest in compromise.

And when we do some day decide to deal with immigration – yes, seal the border. But what about the thousands who have come here on legal visas? Homeland Security reports that 700,000 failed to depart as scheduled. Seven months later, 421,000 were still here. 

About 200,000 never leave. That is about how many sneak in over the border. It is time we stopped ignoring visa overstays.

I’m on the farm this week. Harvest time.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to www.johnblockreports.com.

Until next week, I am John Block in down on the farm.

Previous Weeks

Agriculture’s Message

September 13 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 wasn’t going to go down this road, but a CNN discussion and article that I have in front of me should not be ignored. Here is their criticism – they used internal e-mails…

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Uncertainty

September 5 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 -

The agriculture industry in the U.S. is dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Falling prices and trade wars top the list. We expect our exports to grow faster than our imports.…

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Labor Day 2018

September 1 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’s hard to believe, but summer is all but gone. We are looking at harvest season. Get that combine ready to go. Labor Day is next Monday. 

Speaking of Labor Day, I want to say…

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Wild Fires

August 23 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 -

Wild fires in California and other Western states have burned more than 1,000 square miles of timberland and grassland. 14 people have died and thousands of homes have been…

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Down on the Farm 2018

August 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 am talking to you on the phone from our farm in Illinois. Our corn and soybeans are beautiful. I picked some ears. Most ears are 18 rows round – some are 16 rows. That is a…

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This and That 2018

August 9 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 -

Good news – ethanol exports are up 33% so far this year. By year’s end, we should exceed last year’s record of 1.38 billion gallons.

Turn to hogs – we have raised hogs on…

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Farm Bill

August 2 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 -

The current Farm Bill runs out at the end of September. Will we get a new one? If so, when? Thanks to the efforts of Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Democrat…

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This and That July 2018

July 27 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’m going to focus on some different issues today. Trade is in the spotlight. We can only encourage the U.S. and the countries that we have challenged – Canada, Mexico, EU,…

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Trump-Putin Summit

July 18 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 -

President Trump has dominated all the press headlines in recent days. He met with NATO leaders and criticized them for not doing their share to pay for European defense. He is…

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Trump Trumps NATO

July 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 -

Before I focus on this week’s subject, I just want to say a few words about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scott Pruitt led the EPA as President Trump’s…

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