Current Week

Down on the Farm

September 25, 2014

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—

Down on the farm in Illinois. That’s where I was last week. We started our corn harvest – a little wet (27% moisture), but time to start. It is a bumper crop, that’s why prices are down.

While on the farm, a lot of thoughts come to my mind. Every year, we try to do everything in the production process right. The one thing that we cannot control is the weather, but this year, the weather cooperated. Next year could be a different story.

We have production advantages we didn’t have in years past. The corn is genetically engineered to reject root worms that used to seriously cut yields. The weeds aren’t a problem, even though we use less chemicals fighting the weeds. One trip over spraying the fields and weeds be gone. We don’t have to cultivate or hire high school kids to hoe the bean fields. The result is less labor, less fuel, less of everything except yield. The yield goes up. If we want to protect the environment and feed the world, we must use all the new technology. I remember how my father farmed when I was a boy. It was hard.

Now, let’s go to the hog barn. Baby pigs born every day. We had 4 litters the first day – big litters – 48 new babies. The next day, we had 1 little but what a litter – 20 pigs born – 18 alive. I have raised pigs all my life and cannot remember a little of 18 live babies. So what do you do? That mother cannot raise 18 pigs. She only has 12 nipples to drink. You may not know, but every baby will select his own teat and will not share it with any of his brothers or sisters.

Here is what we did. We found a mother sow with pigs ready to wean (more than 3 weeks old). We weaned her pigs away and gave her 9 of the new born babies. She happily accepted her new responsibility and became a nurse sow just like that. We try to find a way to save all the little ones we can. Hog producers do this all the time.

I hear the animal rights people criticizing how farmers and ranchers care for their animals. Yes, there are exceptions, but we do the best we can to keep our animals healthy, comfortable, and happy. Animals that are stressed and mistreated will not gain weight, will not be good mothers. There is every incentive to save every pig, every calf. Feed them exactly the most balanced ration. Get them to market. Bacon is in demand.

The roller coaster farming business is a challenge, but I love it.

Be safe this harvest and I am John Block down on the farm.

Previous Weeks

Water Rule

September 18 2014

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—

The ag industry has been hammering Congress to stop EPA’s new Waters of the United States rule, and last week, the House voted to block EPA’s rush to extend their jurisdiction.

EPA wants to take control of farm and ranch streams, wet…

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Energy Security

September 11 2014

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—

Perhaps it took 2 or 3 years, but it seems like overnight. We are not going crazy worrying about a possible energy shortage. We had long gas lines in the 70s. Prices skyrocketed. We were begging Saudi Arabia to pump more gas in the 90s.

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Cool

September 4 2014

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—

Turn back the clock to year 2002 and, that year, the farm bill added COOL (country of origin labeling) for meat. That has been a problem for the last 12 years. Consumer groups argue that they have a right to know where their meat comes…

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Labor Day

August 28 2014

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—

Hard to believe, but summer is over. It’s Labor Day. On that note, I want to say how much respect I have for the hard-working men and women that labor in the trenches. I’m not talking about big corporation managers, not talking about…

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Salt

August 21 2014

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—

What should we be eating? We are getting hammered from every angle about what is good for us versus what is bad. Too many carbs, stay away from red meat, don’t trust GE foods, sugar will make you fat. The government wants to…

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Russian Food Embargo

August 14 2014

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—

The August crop report confirms what we already knew. We are going to harvest a very big corn crop and soy beans are not far behind.

Not surprising, the price of corn is bouncing around at a level that could result in government safety…

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Middle East

August 7 2014

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—

There is a lot going on. No shortage of issues.

Turn your attention to the Middle East. Israel has been pounding Hamas and Gaza for days. Their objective has been to destroy more than 30 tunnels from Gaza into Israel. Looks like –…

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Putin and Cuba

July 31 2014

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—

For many years, I have advocated and worked to improve relations with Cuba. I’ve gone there supporting ag trade on two occasions. I’ve never said that Castro is a good friend. We all know that Cuba is a Communist dictatorship with…

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Getting Nothing Done

July 24 2014

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—

Today, I want to talk to you about the deficit – not the dollar deficit. That’s for another day.

I want to talk about the deficit of action, the deficit of responsibility.

The U.S. Congress and the President have failed the…

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Farm Program

July 17 2014

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— Let’s talk about the farm bill today.

The level of support and type of support has evolved over time. Today’s bill isn’t my father’s farm bill.

The importance of farm supports to farmers has diminished over the years.…

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