In Minnesota, one of the country’s top farming states, just one man is responsible for dealing with farmers’ mental health needs. As low crop prices and farm closures weigh heavily on farming families, he is joining state legislators and advocates to push for allocating more resources to the pressing issue. (No paywall)
Many farmers "are struggling to stay afloat" because of the trade war and persistently low commodity prices, said the National Farmers Union board on Tuesday, calling on Congress and the White House to strengthen the federal safety net. Separately, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said another multibillion-dollar round of Trump tariff payments may be needed.
When the commodity boom collapsed in 2014, U.S. farm income plunged along with it. While there are signs that income is stabilizing, economists Brent Gloy and Dave Widmar say their foremost concern "is more about the duration than the magnitude" with the fourth year of persistently low income going into the books.
The four-year slump in farm income is creating "real potential for a crisis in rural America," said House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway at the first House hearing for the 2018 farm bill. "A good farm bill," he said, "will require resources," meaning money to offset low commodity prices and unfair subsidies overseas.