The Debate

October 1, 2020

October 1, 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 –

How exciting – With the Presidential race headed for the finish line, we got to hear President Trump and Vice President Biden debate the issues. What a waste of my time. All they did was talk over each other with interruptions and insults. Biden said Trump has been the “worst President that America has ever had.” After a number of interruptions Biden told President Trump to “shut up.” President Trump pounded Biden for his plan to make U.S. a socialist Country. I don’t think the public learned much from that debate.

Let’s turn to farming and agriculture. We have not been blessed with good prices. You
can blame the Coronavirus and all the supply disruptions or over production. Ohio State University
projects that prices for next year won’t be any better - $3.40 per bushel for corn and $8.50 for
soybeans. I hope they are better. In the last month we have seen some better prices. The
government support programs for agriculture have been very helpful. Without that money there
would be a lot more bankruptcies. However, farmers and ranchers cannot take this money flow
for granted. We will have to survive without it.

Not counting this year – U.S. farm subsidies fell below what is spent by other developed
countries. According to statistics from OECD and Successful Farming magazine the world spends
$2 billion a day on farm subsidies. The 54 leading countries in the world spend $700 billion a year
supporting farmers.

My position is that developed nations should work together in cutting market-distorting
subsidies and get rid of non-tariff trade barriers. It won’t be easy. As challenging as the farm
economy has been, we have others hurting even more. We have families without the money to
pay the rent or buy food and medicine. One in four Americans have less than $400 in savings.
Millions have no savings at all.

Last of all – Hats off to Orion Samuelson who has just announced that he will retire from
farm broadcasting at the end of the year. No one has done a better job of telling agriculture’s story
to the public. Thank you, Orion, for your leadership and friendship.
Until next week, this is 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