AG/FDA Blog

Coronavirus

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. It seems like overnight we went from a booming economy to shutting everything down. Schools are closed, businesses are working online to avoid contact. “Social distancing” is the new way to live. In some st… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Today’s Agriculture

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. I was on the farm in Illinois last week. After that tough weather that we had to deal with last year – it was beautiful. The soil is dry. Not the muck that made harvest almost impossible. We weren’t able to… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Trade

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. I will be on my farm in Illinois this week and next week I will report what I find. For now, realizing that almost 30% of our ag production is exported, world markets can be the difference between farm profitab… Read More
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Categories: USDA

New Year Down on the Farm

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. We still have some snow on the ground at our farm in Illinois, but it is a good time to plan next year’s crops. Which fields will be for corn and which for soybeans? What hybrids and seed numbers to plant in… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Issues of the Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. I think we are all aware that many countries in Africa have a long way to go to modernize their ag industry. Their food systems need to be transformed to help their people. A positive step has been taken. Unite… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Busy Week

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week were something for the record books. On Monday, the first state Iowa held their primary to begin the selection process of choosing a Democratic candidate to run against… Read More
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Categories: USDA

American Farm Bureau and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Farmers and the whole agriculture industry fought through 2019, a very brutal year. Exports, prices, trade war and weather took a costly toll. Now we need to turn the page and look at 2020. Last weekend Preside… Read More
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Categories: USDA

The Issues of the Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. The ag industry is excited as a number of trade deals are coming together. We will have a phase one deal with China signed this week. Our annual exports to China that have fallen below the $20 billion mark will… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Look Back and Ahead

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. It’s a New Year. 2020 got here so fast. I want to look back at 2019. For the American ag industry, I think the weather made our production challenges more difficult than I can remember, and we have farmed thr… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Exciting Week

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Just when I had concluded that we couldn’t get anything done here in Washington, everything happened at once. We have a trade deal with China. According to the Washington Post “China will spend $50 billion… Read More
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Categories: USDA

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