On the Farm Sept 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 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 have escaped the wild and crazy political wars of Washington, DC. I am on my farm in
Illinois. My first time back since the virus hit. My voice will sound a little different since I am
on the phone. I am so excited to look at our fields of corn and soybeans – I walk in the corn
fields, check the ears. Our combines are out and starting to roll. Corn moisture is not bad –
about 24%. I’m a little surprised, but our soybeans are ready for harvest. The weather is just
beautiful here this week.

As I look at our crops, I feel so grateful. Thank you, God. I can’t help but feel sorry for
the farms in Iowa and other states that had their crops destroyed. Don’t forget about the
hurricanes in the South East. Farming is a risky business. On our farm we have dealt with down
corn in years past. We have seen the Spoon River flood our river bottom corn and soybeans.
Even if you do everything right - timely planting, good seed, weed control - you can’t control the
weather. I am reading in Successful Farming magazine that because of La Niña, next year’s
weather “could bring widespread severe drought and catastrophic hurricanes to the United
States.” They project well below trend yields in 2021. Hope they are wrong.

I was in our hog barns. Three new litters born yesterday. Our hogs are healthy and
happy. We have a trailer load (180 head) headed for market tomorrow. Processing plants are
managing the virus now. A positive lift for agriculture – President Trump announced that USDA
will roll out another $13 billion in aid for farmers and ranchers whose markets have been
disrupted by coronavirus. That should help. Farmers and ranchers say thank you.
I also want to thank my farm team. They do the hard work – growing, harvesting, caring
for baby pigs. I do the easy work – selling the grain at the right time or wrong time. Nothing is
easy. And yet, I love it – just being with my feet on this rich black soil and holding a beautiful
golden ear of corn in my hand.

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