AG/FDA Blog

Trade and GE Tech

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. As much as we would like to – the Ag industry can not escape the week to week and day to day damage that our industry suffers from the ongoing trade fights.  It is just back and forth.  We were hopeful las… Read More
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Ag Industry

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. We keep reading that unless we increase farm production, we won’t be able to feed all the people in the world by 2050.  One way to boost food production is to respond to higher prices.  The market will tel… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Budget Deal

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. There were a lot of doubters, including myself, but it looks like we will get a budget deal.  It will raise our national debt ceiling and set new spending limits for 2 years.  The new budget will authorize t… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Oh, SNAP! Federal District Court Judge Orders FNS to Remove Owner of SNAP Retailer’s Name from the SAM List

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Not surprisingly, that means that FNS is required to follow regulations and guidance issued by USDA.  This fundamental concept appears to have been for… Read More
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Trade

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Some listeners might get tired of hearing about trade disputes.  Why are they important?  Well, for the ag industry it makes the difference between profit and loss because we export 20-30% of our farm produc… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Issues of the Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Hot issues of the day – Are we going to war with Iran?  They did shoot down one of our drones worth more than $130 million.  News reports tell us that in response, President Trump agreed to a retaliatory s… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Oh, SNAP! The Supreme Court Holds Store Level SNAP Redemption Data is Confidential Under FOIA Exemption 4

In a major victory for grocers, the United States Supreme Court (in a 6-3 decision) held that store level SNAP retailer data is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Exemption 4 precludes the disclos… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Uncertainty in Agriculture

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Agri-Pulse Daybreak reported “when asked if he could say when the U.S. and China would reach an agreement to end this trade war, the U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg Doud said ‘No is the answer.… Read More
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Did You Know

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Finally – my corn and soybeans are in the ground.  However, as of last Sunday there were 15.8 million U.S. corn acres still unplanted.  The wet spring and ticking time clock have pushed farmers to plant fi… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Tariffs

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. We all have priorities.  I was delighted when USMCA — our new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada — was completed and agreed to.  The next step is to get all three countries to vote acceptance… Read More
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Categories: USDA

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