Current Week

More Spending More Aid

August 6, 2020

August 6, 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 –

It was so easy and so fast in the Spring -- when Republicans and Democrats came
together and authorized big spending to support our people and the economy. We didn’t have
the money. They spent $3 trillion anyway. The pandemic still rages, and Congress is in the
process of trying to decide how to provide more support. Food Aid is top of the list.

In 2019 food assistance money spending went down 8% from the year before. But with the virus food spending has exploded. Food stamp benefits in the month of April rocketed up 40%. There is pending legislation to make school meals universal this year. That won’t be so easy if many of our children won’t be in school. We don’t have a deal yet, but you can expect more food assistance. The $600 addition that has been part of unemployment benefits expired last Friday. Congress will probably continue that added money but at a lower level.

Government has a lot of challenges, but so does our farm economy. We keep getting reports about how good our crops are and how many acres are planted. After harvest we will have a huge surplus. Prices are down. Projections are that grain and livestock farmers can only hope to break even this year, and next year could be worse. Here is some encouraging news. Our corn prices may be in the tank, but in China prices are soaring. Look back to 2016 and China had huge inventories of grain. No more. It is gone, and they will have to import tons of corn. Their hog numbers are starting to recover from the swine flu, and they will need a lot of grain. We have it. We need to limit our disputes with China. And then, perhaps they will make their big buy of our products.

Another market for us is ethanol sales to Brazil. Brazil is our largest foreign market for
ethanol. Critics of President Trump are angry that our U.S. Ambassador to Brazil asked that
country to lower their tariffs and buy more of our ethanol. Democrats argue that President
Trump did that to help his campaign. So what? It was a good idea to lift my corn price. As we
approach the presidential election in less than 100 days, the battle rages on.

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

Weather and Trade

July 30 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 –

All reports from the heartland tell us that this year’s crops look good. Corn and soybeans
on my farm are as good as I can remember. However, they are not ready to harvest. A hot…



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Virus Relief Package

July 22 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 –

We have two parties – Republicans and Democrats in our Congress. And then we have
President Trump. They all want to pass a new relief package to help us through our…

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Pandemic Costs Money

July 16 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 –

We are trying to survive a global pandemic, trade disruptions, and trade conflicts. Farm
bankruptcies have been increasing for 5 years in a row. And they are expected to…

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Pandemic Costs

July 8 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 –

In recent weeks, the news has focused on the number of cases of Coronavirus and related
deaths. We are aware of the large amount of money and support that our federal…

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Issues of the Day

July 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 –

For more than 2 years the U.S., Canada and Mexico have been negotiating a new North
American Free Trade Agreement. Finally, USMCA became effective this week. Even with the
new…

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China and More

June 25 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, on more than one occasion, talked about President Trump and EPA in their effort
to restrain President Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule. That rule was written to restrict…

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Issues

June 18 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 will cover some issues of the day that may not have gotten much attention.

1. The U.S. and Russia have a long-range nuclear arms agreement that will expire next
February. The…

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We Never Know

June 12 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 –

When you are farming, you are faced with a lot of unknowns - What will the weather be
like? Will these low prices ever recover? Our corn and soybeans are planted on my…

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Riots and More

June 4 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 thought 2020 would be just a normal year. But – no. We were hit by the corona
pandemic, and that wasn’t enough. Suddenly a white police officer killed a black man…

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Challenges We Face

May 27 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 –

The Coronavirus came out of nowhere and has crippled the world economy, killing
thousands and thousands of people. The virus is not through yet either. Look at…

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