These are grim times in farm country, according to a Purdue University poll: One-half of farmers say their farm's financial condition is worse than a year ago and, for the third month, more than 70 percent said the trade war will reduce their net income this year. An equally large share of farmers expect hard times for the ag economy in the year ahead, according to the Ag Economy Barometer released on Tuesday.
Corn may be more profitable than soybeans in 2019, but that isn’t saying much about the outlook for midwestern farmers, say a pair of agricultural economists from the University of Illinois.
President Trump's promise to protect U.S. agriculture from retaliatory tariffs by China and other countries will be paid on the installment plan — half this fall and the rest in December, or early 2018 if assistance is still needed, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday. The USDA announced $6.2 billion in outlays that will begin in September, with soybean growers in line for $3.6 billion of it.
With commodity prices dropping and farm income projected to plummet, America’s farmers are growing increasingly anxious over the lack of specifics about how much money they’re going to get, and when they’re going to get it, from President Trump’s $12-billion bailout, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The slump in commodity prices that has accompanied the ongoing tit-for-tat trade war has sapped the farm economy this summer and poses financial risks going into the fall, said Federal Reserve banks in Chicago and Kansas City on Thursday.
The smallest fruit and vegetable growers will pay comparatively more than big operators to comply with the so-called Produce Rule from the FDA — as much as 6.8 percent of their sales compared with less than 1 percent for big farmers, said three USDA economists on Wednesday.
Midwestern farmers will likely need large reductions in rental rates on cropland in 2019 to have a chance of making money on corn or soybeans, said economist Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois.
When farm bill negotiators get down to business, the 47 House "conferees" will face an unusually big-caliber Senate team, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as one of its members, a rare role for the leader. Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, in cheering the formal appointment of their nine negotiators, used "bipartisan" to describe their approach and take a swipe at the Republican-written House farm bill and its proposal to require more people to work 20 hours a week to qualify for food stamps.
President Carter imposed the 1980 Soviet grain embargo to punish the Soviet Union for its invasion of Afghanistan, an inexact analogue for the Sino-U.S. trade war that started in April. All the same, an analysis of the embargo suggests the greatest damage to the U.S. farm sector may be a diminished role in the world market over the long run rather than a short-term loss of exports, write four university economists.