Current Week

What’s Ahead

April 18, 2019

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 –

This weekend I will be on my farm in Illinois.  When I booked my flight, I thought we might be planting corn.  Not likely – too much rain.

At this moment I am looking at the latest U.S. Dept of Agriculture projections for crop carry over after harvesting this fall.  Ending stocks of corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton are all projected to be at record or near record levels.  It is shocking to look at these charts – especially soybean carry over – almost 900 million bushels.

Farms today are looking at low prices.  Unless weather problems cut production, the global harvest prices will not respond.  Perhaps the only hope rests on trade to elevate demand.  We need buyers for surplus farm commodities.

I think President Trump’s tariffs and trade disputes can deliver positive results, but we are paying a short-term price.

It is encouraging that there are positive vibes coming from our trade negations with China.  We have an election coming up in 2020 and you can be assured President Trump needs a deal he can tweet about.  Keep in mind that China’s economy is suffering.  The tariffs have taken a toll.  In the first quarter of 2019, China’s imports increased 1.4% and exports dropped 4.8%.  With African Swine Fever Chinese pork imports will explode.  This year projections are for a 41% surge.

Now that I mention ASF I compliment the National Pork Producers Council for cancelling the annual trade show this June.  Too much risk of bringing swine fever to our shores.  The right decision.  

Trade talks have been going on this week with Japan our fourth largest foreign market – Japan bought $13 billion worth of Ag products last year.  Our U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been leading those negotiations.  We have been losing some of the Japanese market because with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in business now, without us those members have an advantage.  I expect the negotiations with Japan to advance quickly and we can reclaim our priority position with Japan.

Here is another high priority for US Agriculture and North America – We need to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada agreement and lift our tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

Farm country wants and needs to get something done.  Put the heat on our government representatives.  Can’t wait to get to the farm…

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 www.johnblockreports.com.

Previous Weeks

Creativity

April 11 2019

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 –

From farm to fork the food industry is doing more than its share to hold inflation down.  The US Department of Agriculture projects only a 1 percent increase in the cost…

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Swine Fever & USMCA

April 4 2019

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 –

What should we focus on today?  Let’s start with African Swine Fever.  ASF is the deadliest disease threatening the pork industry.  It is estimated that China has lost…

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No Collusion

March 28 2019

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 –

After 2 long years of distraction and political attacks, Special Counsel Muller released his report.  “The Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with the Russian…

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Issues of the Day

March 21 2019

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 –

Let’s begin with hemp.  When I was a little boy, hemp was growing wild on the roadsides and ditches.  It was harvested to make rope during World War II.  It is a close…

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The President’s Budget

March 13 2019

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 –

Issues of the Day.  The President’s Budget.  If everything goes according to plan, when we enter our next fiscal year, October 1, we will have a budget passed by the…

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Land Grab

March 6 2019

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 –

Did you know that Congress passed legislation authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to spend 9 billion dollars to buy private land?  The Department of Interior…

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China and N. Korea

February 27 2019

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 –

Priority government issues of the day would have to be trade negotiations with China and President Trump’s meeting with N. Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

Our Ag industry has…

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Debt

February 21 2019

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 –

Our economy is booming.  Job growth in 2018 averaged 220,000 new jobs each month.  419,000 workers have come back to work.  The labor force participation rate is up to 63.1…

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Optimism

February 13 2019

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 –

Optimism is in the air.  Pessimism is being crowded out.  The second government shut down that looked like a certainty is not going to happen.  President Trump will not get…

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Gov. Ralph Northam

February 7 2019

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 –

We all live with a new reality today.  Nothing is secret, and if you are in government or in a high-level executive position, someone will be out to bring you down. …

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