Republicans will tell you they understand the heartland, the need of farmers. They will tell you that climate change isn’t real, and that the trade war with China should work out “in the end”. When their own constituents suffer, though, retiring Senators occasionally let some truth out. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, who isn’t running for re-elect, dropped this doozy to The Kansas City Star in talking about the current dilemmas facing farmers.
“And there’s a snow melt sitting up there waiting to come loose and if you have a couple hot days in Montana and all this starts coming down… Look out Kansas City. Look out Atchison. And look out Leavenworth.”
A fourth-generation farmer, Biermann said farming has been his “lifetime dream” and that he was born with dirt under his fingernails.
Without federal aid to make up for flood damage, he will have to retire.
Pat Roberts is retiring of his own accord, but farmers in his own state are finding they may be forced into retirement. And “who knows” what could cause all these hot days in Montana and elsewhere?
Reuters published the results of a government study indicating that Climate Change would lead to increased costs for farmers, where Scientists call climate change a supporting factor in water logged midwest.
Wehner said the flooding was consistent with projections in a government report issued last November, the National Climate Assessment Volume II, that said climate change would boost costs in industries from farming to fisheries and energy production by increasing the frequency of powerful storms.
That report, mandated by Congress, was compiled by 13 federal departments and agencies, but was called inaccurate by the White House.
The downward spiral of value in crops has caused farmers to store more and more, hoping to cash in when the value comes back. Flooding, however, risks destroying large volumes of stored crops, wiping out farm value. From The Kansas City Star
Green said he usually tries to store corn until April to get a premium price. But he’s been storing more in recent years because of the trade war.
“I try not to get into it too much, but the trade policies really hurt. We’ve been hurting for three years or something with these low prices, low commodity prices, and something needs to happen or it’s taking people out of business,” Green said.
“I’m stressed out about the trade policies… and now with this thrown on top it feels like you’re beating your head against the wall. It feels like there’s no hope.”
Farmers will tell you that they want to earn their money in the marketplace, with people buying and using their product, far more than a check from the government in the mailbox. Government checks for farming diminish choices of what they farm, and will encourage many to plant crops even late in season to just get a return to keep making mortgage payments.
The Trump administration, though, is convinced that they can continue to hand out subsidies to offset the damage they are doing. What is humorous is that two years ago, Conservative think tank Americans for Prosperity decried the use of farm subsidies, and offering editorials about their opposition to The Hill.
Now, faced with an administration that is systematically tearing farming apart, subsidies and debt are the short term bandaids that the administration hopes will cover up the long term damage it continues to do to American farmers.