Increasingly Angry Farmers Blame Trump, Not China

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Farmers are angry over crop reports, broken ethanol promises, tariffs, crop reports, Trump, and mounting debt.

Minnesota Farmers Union President Blasts Trump

Iowas Farmers Accuse Trump of Breaking Promises

In Iowa, Angry Farmers Say Trump Broke Ethanol Promises.

Iowa farmers are pushing back after President Trump reneged on a promise to review a national program that gives waivers to small refineries that don’t add ethanol to their gasoline.

The president had promised corn farmers he would review the exemption program after a June trip to Iowa, but a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to issue new waivers to fuel producers signaled an end to the administration’s study.

But the decision creates tension between two groups Trump views as supporters and may threaten the patience of farmers who have already been hit hard by the tariffs of Trump’s trade war.

Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) has requested an EPA Office of Inspector General investigation of the program and whether it violates renewable fuel laws, but at a press conference in Iowa on Wednesday, farmers directed their anger more at Trump than the EPA.

“Right now what we’re seeing from this administration is a dogged approach to allow the biggest fossil fuel players an opportunity to put more money in the back pockets of their large shareholders and take that money out of the pockets of hardworking farmers right here in Iowa,” she said.

Farmers Threaten USDA Staff

Reuters reports Farmer's Threat Prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to Pull Staff from Crop Tour.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer.

Tour organizers said in a statement the threat was taken “very seriously.”

U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated about unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions.

Corn future prices posted their biggest drop in three years after the USDA estimated a bigger-than-expected crop on Aug. 12, despite floods that slowed planting. USDA’s reports have long been a key reference for global commodities markets.

James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, who was not on the tour, said he understood the anger.

“Any farmer who talked to the USDA guy who made the crop report would probably say something derogatory to him,” McCune said. “I don’t know anybody that agreed with that stuff.”

The Trump administration has also been scrambling to stem rising anger over its decision this month to allow numerous oil refiners to mix less corn-based ethanol into their gasoline.

Debt Mounts

Finally, please consider the Average U.S. Farm Is $1,300,000 In Debt, And Now The Worst Farming Crisis In Modern History Is Upon Us

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Leading up to this year, farm incomes had been trending lower for most of the past decade, and meanwhile farm debt levels have been absolutely exploding. So U.S. farmers were desperate for a really good year, but instead 2019 has been a total disaster.

As a result, we are facing the worst farming crisis in modern American history, and this comes at a time when U.S. farms are drowning in more debt than ever before. In fact, the latest numbers that we have show that the average U.S. farm is 1.3 million dollars in debt.

If the horrific weather and endless flooding wasn’t enough, about a week ago the Chinese government announced that they would be ending all “purchases of U.S. agricultural products”, and that was a devastating blow for farmers all over the nation.

In particular, soybean farmers are going to see demand for their crops absolutely collapse. In recent years, China has purchased approximately 60 percent of all U.S. soybean exports.

And even if a trade deal is eventually reached, it is unlikely that all of that demand is ever going to come back. Right now, the Chinese are spending enormous amounts of money “to build transportation infrastructure to ship soybeans grown in what used to be rain forests” in Brazil. They aren’t going to abandon all of that just because Trump suddenly changes his mind.

This is not a pretty picture for US farmers.

There is no way for farmers to pay back the money they owe.

Farm bankruptcies are already on the rise. This year may break many of them.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (50)
No. 1-23
Sechel
Sechel

The Great Patriot farmer is revolting and being disloyal to Donald Trump. I'm shocked the Great Patriot Farmer doesn't want to go bankrupt.. And from the beginning Trump failed to realize that Farming is a key U.S. industry and American success story. Instead he wanted to focus on Steel which is no longer a key industry.

JonSellers
JonSellers

US farmers want too much money. Like manufacturing, we should move all of our food production to 3rd world countries. Lower prices will make us all richer.

Je'Ri
Je'Ri

Michael Dukakis had a point when he suggested struggling farmers grow something people were willing to pay serious money for, like Belgian Endive.

I find it hard to sypathise with people who are being put out of business by Big Agra and mistakenly trying to pin the blame on tariffs.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

If they don't like the USDA report why don't they fund their own? Oh because the USDA tells everyone what they want to hear. Unless they don't, then it's all Trump's fault.

Maybe it's not Trump's fault. Maybe this stuff has been happening all along but now that the evil incompetent orange man is in charge the true nature of the bureaucracy is now news. Where was the press for the last 100 years?

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

What are farmers complaining about they got $28 billion in help, oh wait that almost all went to big agra, and not to the normal farmers. How could that happen...really I suspect that Trump did what he always preached, looked after his buddies the real winners after all (hey sure they need $28 billion but really it's not their fault).

It will get worse, because once the Chinese move to other producers (Argentina and Brazil for example) it will be hard to get them back.

The consequence of trade war are always difficult to judge, but that, that was a sure thing!

hmk
hmk

My understanding is that adding ethanol in gas is cost ineffective and fuel savings ineffective. It increased the cost of anything corn based also such as feed and corn syrup based sweeteners etc. This mandate was another govt. engineered giveaway to the farm lobby at the expense of the taxpayers. I believe Bush was the one who started this fiasco.

Escierto
Escierto

If they worship Trump as their God then they should be willing to take any amount of pain and die for him. Trump expects no less from his cult members. After all, it's not about them, it's about him and his glory.

vboring
vboring

What happens if farmers and millenials embrace socialism as a solution to unpayable debts?

KidHorn
KidHorn

Wonder if this has anything to do with the fires in Brazil. Creating more farmland for the Chinese.

2banana
2banana

And yet...

"In other words, “When will the dumb Trump-supporting farmers realize that they have been conned?” You can rest assured that this narrative will once again surface before 2020’s election. Except that none of it is true. American farmers are certainly hurting, but little of this is due to the trade war. The media is trying to take advantage of American farmers’ pain for political purposes."

2banana
2banana

And yet (far left source)...

"Yet the farmers—who will play a key role in the 2020 presidential race in Iowa—didn’t talk much about politics until I asked them, and even then, some were reticent. Despite escalating tensions with China in a trade war that directly affects United States agriculture, the farmers I spoke to said they were unconcerned that China may cut off US imports and confident that President Donald Trump has their best interests in mind."

2banana
2banana

And yet again...

"A survey conducted by Iowa State University has found that farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois support President Trump’s tariffs against China. According to the study, nearly 60-percent of respondents in those states expressed support for the ongoing trade war, while 14-percent had neutral feelings on the matter."

Matt3
Matt3

More doom and gloom. Mish must be a very depressing person to be around!

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

The farmers and The Chosen One deserve each other!

njbr
njbr

Sonny Purdue (Sec of Ag): "What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar"

Told at FarmFest in Minnesota a week or so ago.

thimk
thimk

oh well, maybe it's time to let our lands remain fallow for a while and recover from industrial abuse . Good fertile top soil is a valuable asset

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"There is no way for farmers to pay back the money they owe."

...

When times are good ... farmers can't resist getting a new combine ... at $250K to $500K.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Truthfully if Trump would have let alone the trade issue economic growth would have been higher still. As it stands jobs numbers are being revised down. Trump screwed his own reelection chances by messing with trade agreements. States that were red are now turning into the tossup category.

Realist
Realist

Trump is a terrible negotiator. But he is good at blaming everyone else for his mistakes. I suspect that many US farmers will continue to vote for him in the next election because they “want” to believe that he will come through for them. It’s also highly likely he will win. And therefore, it’s highly likely that record numbers of farmers will go bankrupt over the next several years because of his poorly thought out trade wars.

inonothing
inonothing

I read somewhere that engines running on ethanol-mix don't last as long as those burning regular gasoline without ethanol. Any truth in that?

Expat
Expat

So much winning! Farmers already get massive handouts and subsidies. The American mythology of Ma and Pa struggling on the tiny family farm is bullshit. Farmers are rich and/or corporate. But hey, this is what American capitalism is all about: making sure rich people don't get hurt.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"So much winning! Farmers already get massive handouts and subsidies. The American mythology of Ma and Pa struggling on the tiny family farm is bullshit. Farmers are rich and/or corporate."

I agree 100% with Expat and never implied otherwise. I merely pointed out the whining.

I would end all crop subsidies and ethanol support if it was up to me.

Mattydamoose
Mattydamoose

Farmers that voted for trump are getting exactly what they deserve. He’s doing what he said he was going to do. But that’s ok we the taxpayers will take care of your financial shortcomings. (Socialist welfare recipients) That evil Obama and his diabolical plan to take over the whole world with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and his (and 90 some-odd % of scientists) climate change craziness. That nutso Muslim was out to get you. Now you have “the chosen one” that lost all his daddies money due to his 4-5 bankruptcies, one of which was the “biggest in US history” and made a comeback taking money from god only knows who, because no bank in the United States would lend to him. That’s the guy I want running my country. And the Truckers that voted for him, bahahaha! Got you too with that little per diem screwing, huh? Maybe next time do a little research before you cast your votes....morons.