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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Get The Work Done

Oct 29, 2010

I was on the farm in Illinois last week as we wrapped up our corn and soybean harvest. We finished at about the same time as we started last year. I don’t think we have ever finished this early and I know we have never finished as late as we did last year. Christmas. 

Like most farms in the corn belt, our corn was disappointing, but our soybeans were surprisingly good. And now, the challenge is to focus on next year – get the fall plowing done, apply the nitrogen, and try to decide when to sell and when not to sell.
 
The volatility of grain prices makes the decision process more critical than ever. All the while, we take care of our pigs, finally able to enjoy some good prices this year after 2 bad years.
 
At least we are on top of our work. We got the job done. That’s more than I can say for the federal government.
 
We don’t even have a budget for this new fiscal year. Congress didn’t pass one appropriations bill – not one. Our government operations are being funded by a continuing resolution until the Congress comes back after the mid-term elections. Probably as many as 50 or 60 of the Members of the Congress will be lame ducks. Some will be defeated next Tuesday. Some aren’t running anyway. The new Congress will not be seated until next year. So, these lame ducks will be asked to make serious policy. I don’t think they are going to have much of an appetite for doing a lot of controversial work.
 
What will they do with the Bush tax cuts? They’re due to expire at the end of this year. The estate tax is supposed to rocket up to 55% January 1.
 
President Obama wants the Congress to pass a new Start Treaty that has been negotiated with Russia. I would remind the President and Congress that we have 3 trade agreements that were negotiated 4 years ago – still no action on them.
 
I don’t expect this lame duck session of Congress to get very much done. If they couldn’t do their job all year long, why would we expect anything different?
 
The mid-term election is next Tuesday – time to clean house. We got our work done on the farm this year. They didn’t do theirs.
 
Halloween is this Sunday. Come Tuesday, we’ll find out if we are going to get a trick or a treat.
 
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
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