Commentary: John Block Reports from Washington

“Issues of the day”

Hello, everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

It is time for our government to go to work. The Senate and House both are in the process of naming who will serve on the different committees. The Republican-led house is scheduled to take up a GOP energy bill. It will direct the Biden Administration to come up with a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal land before drawing down our Strategic Petroleum Reserve anymore. We know President Biden does not want the U.S. to pump more oil. He wants to buy it from other countries. What will happen? We shall see.

In farm country the need to pass a new farm bill is at the top of our list. Paul Ryan, former House Speaker speaking at the International Dairy Foods Association Forum last Sunday predicts that we will pass a new farm bill this year. House Ag Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson and Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow will give us that bipartisan ag leadership that we need. I am optimistic.

Focus on Mexico. Yes – China is our biggest ag export market, but Mexico is close behind. Mexico wants to ban imports of genetically modified corn. Our U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said that’s not going to happen. Good job Mr. Secretary. Keep the pressure on.

Another subject- the worst avian influenza outbreak we have ever had. The bird flu attack started about 1 year ago. When you get it, the whole poultry flock must be destroyed. 58 million poultry in 47 states are gone. Egg farmers are not insured. The virus has been devastating. Protecting the flocks has not been easy. Wild birds flying North or South just spread it everywhere.

I have not talked about this new subject, but it is in the news every day. We all remember all of the news and attention focused on secret government documents found at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The national news media was attacking Trump every day. Now President Biden is in the hot seat. The FBI is investigating. They seem to find secret papers almost wherever they look. I know some people thought President Trump should be put in jail for his reckless handling of secret papers. Now they have to think about President Biden’s problem. Now we have news that former Vice President Pence has some classified papers in his home. I guess President Trump is not alone.

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