The Summer Heat

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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 for today’s commentary –

The Summer Heat
From Washington with John Block

We have had a lot of hot days this summer. Heat can be even worse when it is accompanied by drought. Look at California – 95% of that state is in severe drought. Even here in the Midwest, North Dakota has 93% of the state under severe drought. We all know this is the growing season. Not only will the drought hurt our grain crops, don’t forget that cattle need pasture and hay. And right now, we have the worst national ratings of pastureland since 1995. Not surprising ranchers are starting to cull their herds. We are seeing an 11% increase in beef cow slaughter. Cow slaughter is out pacing heifer retention. That suggests that a year from now we won’t have much beef steak. The farming industry cannot escape weather uncertainty.

Here is something else we need – oil and gas. Rising energy costs are pushing up the cost for farmers and consumers. Even President Biden has encouraged the global oil-producing nations to crank up production. He signed an agreement supporting the controversial pipeline between Russia and Germany. President Biden gives the green light to other nations forcing fuel production but wants to shut the U.S. down. He closed down the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He is moving to stop the leases on federal land, suspended leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I know our President wants to fight climate change, but we shouldn’t be expected to do this alone. We will have to pay more for energy. Let’s not let Congress off the hook. We don’t have an infrastructure bill agreement. The House has not passed an appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2022. They are scheduled to go on vacation next week. Don’t hold your breath, hoping for any deal.

Here is my last point on how U.S. citizens should vote. Recent polls show that “79% of U.S. adults think voters should be required to show a government-issued ID whenever they vote.” Republicans, Independents, and Democrats all support this. Therefore, with few exceptions – every state should require that you go to the polling place, show your ID, and vote. That’s the way to ensure election integrity.

Until next week, this John Block reporting from Washington, D.C. If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to