Current Week

This and That

October 10, 2019

October 10, 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 –
The meat industry in the U.S. has been shaken by the explosion of fake meat. Go into your favorite fast food restaurant and you can order a burger that’s not meat. It tastes like a hamburger, but it is soybeans and peas and who knows what. Beyond Meat is one of the companies selling the plant-based burgers and the company’s stock is up 4-fold this year. The meat industry is fighting to stop their new competitors from using the word “meat.” It’s not meat. The dairy industry doesn’t want to hear the word almond milk either. We’ve got something to chew on now. The battle has just begun.

Here is some good news. For years we have been told – red meat is bad for you. Processed meat must be avoided. Now we have a new scientific review by a respected team of researchers. They report that the connection between red and processed meat and cardiovascular health, cancer risk and other health outcomes is not clear. The evidence is not there to recommend that we reduce our consumption of red meat or processed meat. The scientific community is divided on this issue. Consumers will be confused but I’ll feel good when I order my steak and bacon burger.

Some other positive news is that U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and Japanese Trade Envoy signed a new bilateral trade deal. The agreement will give U.S. agriculture equal access to the Japanese market that was negotiated in the Asian trade deal that President Trump pulled the U.S. out of. President Trump called the new pact with Japan a “game changer” for farmers and ranchers.
Trade talks with China this week. Optimism is not what it could be. On Monday President Trump “blacklisted” 8 Chinese companies. The U.S. will not sell them products that they use in surveillance of Muslim minorities in Western China. Our action is not going to be a positive step for trade negotiations. China has been buying more of our soybeans and pork in the last week or two to warm the atmosphere. Now we have poured cold water on the meeting. I still hold some hope.

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 www.johnblockreports.com.

Previous Weeks

The Harvest

October 3 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 –

Last week I was on the farm.  Looking out over the fields of corn and soybeans, I couldn’t help but recall how hard it was to get this year’s crop in the…

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GE Salmon

September 26 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 –

I will be on our farm in Illinois later in the week.  We haven’t harvested any corn or beans yet, but it is time to get started.  When I look out over our…

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Farm Safety Week

September 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 –

Ever since the past administration rewrote the WOTUS (Waters of the U.S.) rule, farmers have complained about the government’s over reach.  President Trump has acted. …

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Today’s Issues

September 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 –

They are back. House Members and Senators, after a long summer recess, are back to work. Let’s hope they can get something done. Our fiscal year ends September 30 so they…

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This and That

September 5 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 –

China is in the headlines every week.  We can’t escape.  Did you know that in China this is the year of the pig?  Every year is the year of some animal but how crazy is it…

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This and That

August 29 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 –

I have watched and rode the roller coaster of farm markets all of my life, but I have never witnessed the wild ups and downs that we are seeing every day now. Will the trade war…

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Issues of the Day

August 14 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 –

Corn and soybean prices have taken a dive this week, USDA estimates our farmers planted 90 million acres of corn this year.  The trade didn’t expect that many planted acres. …

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Trade and GE Tech

August 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 –

As much as we would like to – the Ag industry can not escape the week to week and day to day damage that our industry suffers from the ongoing trade fights.  It is just back…

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The Ag Industry

July 31 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 –

We keep reading that unless we increase farm production, we won’t be able to feed all the people in the world by 2050.  One way to boost food production is to respond to higher…

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Budget Deal

July 25 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 –

There were a lot of doubters, including myself, but it looks like we will get a budget deal.  It will raise our national debt ceiling and set new spending limits for 2 years. …

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