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Commentary: John Block Reports from Washington

Happy New Year!

Hello, everybody out there in farm country. Here’s the John Block commentary.

Happy New Year – The year 2022 is over.

Overall, it was a very good year for farmers, ranchers, and the ag industry. Grain and livestock prices continue to remain reasonably strong. Egg prices are at a record high. I looked at the cost for a dozen in the grocery store. They were over $4.00. That is because bird flu has killed 40 million of our egg-laying hens.

US farm exports set a new record this year at $194 billion. Soybean exports set a record increase
of 26% – corn up 12%, wheat up 15%, and cotton, dairy, and meat up 10%. I have always been a
fan in support of trade agreements with other countries. That promotes free markets. To this
point, the Biden Administration has not been working hard to negotiate trade agreements. Their
refusal to cut back on tariffs and their efforts to subsidize some of our companies selling
products made in the USA has caused trade tension with some of our trading partners.

Another subject – I think we all are aware that there is serious concern about being able to purchase enough food to feed a growing world population. But at the same time, we have some members of Congress pushing for more money to help organic farming. They say we are not producing enough organic grain to feed the dairy cows, chicken, and meat animals so the milk, eggs, and meat can be labeled organic. The price of a bushel of organic soybeans reached $40 per bushel last April.

My soybeans sold for $15 per bushel. The skyrocketing prices for organic products should be no
surprise. Organic farmers cannot use modern technology that has given us good yields and less
expensive food at their supermarkets. A US consumer spends 9.5% of his disposable income on
food. In Africa, where (for the most part) they don’t use the technology in food production that
we do, the cost of their food eats up 60% of their disposable income.

My conclusion is that the only way we can feed a growing world population is to use genetic
engineering, fertilizer, and weed-killing products – precision farming.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to www.johnblockreports.com.

The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily those of sfntoday.com nor the Southern Farm Network.