AG/FDA Blog

Taiwan and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Taiwan – Let us keep in mind that China claims the island of Taiwan as part of China. But the citizens of Taiwan do not see it that way. Eleven men and women between the ages of 16 and 33 bought a speed boat… Read More
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Categories: USDA

This and That

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. There are a lot of balls in the air. I will try to deal with a few select ones today. I’ll start with aluminum tariffs – President Trump re-imposed a 10% “national security” tariff on imports of aluminu… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Weather & Trade

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. 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 dry August could do some seri… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Pandemics Costs Money

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. 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 continue to climb in the next 12 months.… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Issues of the Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. 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 trade deal, President Trump has th… Read More
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Categories: USDA

China and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. 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 farmers and ranchers from t… Read More
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Categories: USDA

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

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

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

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

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