AG/FDA Blog

Challenging Times

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. There isn’t a lot of happy talk in the U.S. or around the world. These are depressing times. The Coronavirus sickness and resulting deaths are all you see on tv, hear on the radio or read in the papers. Conce… Read More
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Virus and Low Prices

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. We have never seen anything like the Coronavirus. It has been infecting countries all over the world. I guess that reminds us that we live in a global economy. This virus is an infectious disease that knows no… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Frozen Economy

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. After months of uncertainty, the biofuels industry got some good news. The EPA had been granting exemptions to small refineries so they were not required to blend ethanol with petroleum fuel. A January ruling b… 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

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

Oh, SNAP! FNS Still Hasn’t Released Its FY 2019 SNAP Retailer Management Summary

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has oversight over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The agency’s responsibilities include the licensing of more than 250,000 SNAP-authorized retail food stores. FNS also is authorized t… 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

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