Current Week

Back to Illinois

August 27, 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. 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 flew to Illinois – drove down to Springfield to attend Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair. Governor Bruce Rauner, State Senator Darin LaHood, and State Representative Don Moffitt led a crowd of 1,000 people in celebrating Illinois’ number one industry – Agriculture. Their ceremony officially named the Illinois Department of Agriculture Administration the “John R. Block Building.” Broadcaster Orion Samuelson emceed the program. Phil Nelson, Illinois State Director of Agriculture, spoke. I don’t have words to express adequate appreciation. Thank you to Illinois agriculture. My roots are in that rich, black soil.

While at the fair, I was in the hog barn and cattle barn watching the judging. That brought back memories of when I was in 4-H and FFA showing pigs.

From the Fair, I drove North 100 miles to my farm. Along the route, I observed some beautiful fields of corn and soybeans. However, in some places, you could see corn turning yellow showing signs of nitrogen deficiency. We are all looking at different yield projections. Most of them predict a big crop which is weighing heavily on prices. Hard to believe that two years ago we had $7 per bushel corn. This year, on top of the big crop, we have global pressure on all commodities. The U.S. strong dollar makes our ag exports more expensive.

It’s an understatement, but everything that is going on creates a lot of uncertainty. The stock market has crashed. Where do we go from here?

To get things in to perspective, I walked in my corn fields. Every stalk has a nice ear. Wet spots have suffered some because we had so much rain. I think our beans are better than our corn. I am grateful for what I think will be a good crop. I expect a corn yield of 200 bushels/acre, and soybeans at 65 bushels per acre. That’s about the same as last year. After harvest, I will tell you how far off I am.

I feel that the ag industry still has reason to celebrate, even with lower prices. The global demand for food is still going to be strong. We have low interest rates on money borrowed. The U.S. unemployment is 5.2 percent – not bad. Ag industry debt is historically low. Farm land prices are holding steady.

Farming has always been like riding a roller coaster. Just hang on.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on- line to www.johnblockreports.com.

Have a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.

Previous Weeks

Presidential Candidates

August 20 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. 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 resisted the temptation to talk about the Presidential Campaign. But it has become so wild and entertaining, I can’t help myself.

Donald Trump has everyone’s attention. He is leading 16 other Republicans in the…

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Raw Milk

August 13 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

“Got raw milk? Well, don’t drink it. Too many people are risking their health and the health of their children.” Those are the words of Dr. Richard Raymond, former U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for food…

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Raw Milk

August 13 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

“Got raw milk? Well, don’t drink it. Too many people are risking their health and the health of their children.” Those are the words of Dr. Richard Raymond, former U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for food safety.…

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Things to Do

August 6 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Congress is out of town and won’t be back until after Labor Day. In some respects, that’s good. They won’t be passing any bad bills. However, it’s really not so good. The Country of Origin Labeling law is still hanging over…

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Honey Bees

July 29 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. 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 the past 2 or 3 years, I have read (I don’t know how many articles) sounding the alarm of the dying honey bees. “Colony Collapse Disorder” will result in a shortage of food crops that rely on honey bees for pollination.

We were…

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River Ride

July 22 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Over the last 2 weeks, my wife, daughter, and I were on a river cruise on the Danube River. The Danube flows along 10 countries from Germany to the Black Sea. We flew into Prague, Czech Republic – a gorgeous old city. Next…

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Alcohol and Dietary Guidelines

July 16 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Today’s Quiz – what has more alcohol – a 12 oz can of beer? A 5 oz glass of wine? Or, a mixed drink with 1.5 oz of spirits? Answer – they all have the same amount of alcohol.…

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Debt Burden

July 8 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. 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 pick up the New York Times this week – front page article headline: “Loads of Debt – Stifling debt continues to weigh on governments around the world.”

Even the liberal New York Times knows we can’t continue down this road.…

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Pledge of Allegiance

July 1 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Listen to this message. It was my radio commentary 11 years ago – 4th of July 2004.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with…

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Court Rules on Raisins

June 25 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. 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 week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the raisin Marketing Order program. It has been in place for nearly 80 years. Back in 2003, the government ordered California raisin growers to set aside 47% of their raisin crop. Mr. Marvin…

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