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Commentary: John R. Block Reports from Washington

“Down on the farm”

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.

And now today’s commentary-

I am calling in this radio commentary from my farm in Illinois. It is exciting to be here on the ground, walking the corn field. This crop is knee high. When I grew up on the farm, you would expect the corn to be knee high by the 4th of July. This corn will be shoulder high by the 4th of July. We have improved seed and use advanced farming practices today. Our soybeans are shorter, but healthy and growing. At this moment we are positioned to have a good crop with good yield.

Of course, that all depends on the weather. Can’t control that. In talking to farmer friends in California and even in Kansas, the drought is already taking a toll. North Dakota has been swimming in heavy rains.   

President Biden was in Kankakee, Illinois on a farm a couple of weeks ago. His speech was directed to American farmers. He called on U.S. farmers and ranchers to crank up production to feed a hungry world. Of course, we will do our best. But we face problems that perhaps our President could help with, including skyrocketing fuel and fertilizer prices. On his first day in office, he cancelled the Keystone pipeline and halted oil and gas leases on public lands. Of course, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has not helped. Even with the very good grain & livestock prices that we have today – these are tough times. If we are going to step up and feed this hungry world, we need some certainty. Bring down inflation. Shut down the federal government’s effort to overregulate everything. As farmers we already are required to operate under dozens of environmental requirements.

I mentioned the very good grain prices earlier. So of course, I have booked half of my projected crop at these good prices per bushel. Think about this. I am obligated to deliver that grain to satisfy those contracts. But that crop is not close to harvest. Think of the risk. I remember more than 30 years ago when a disease cut our projected corn yield in half. I didn’t have the corn to deliver and fill my contracts. Farming is a very challenging business. I’m not going to think about that anymore. Thank you, God. I’ll watch it grow. Until next week, I am John Block down on the farm.

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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.