Elections have consequences. For farmers, the consequences of Trump’s election and subsequent trade wars continue to stack up: Delinquencies on Farm Service Agency direct loans have surged to a nine year high.
“It is beginning to become a serious situation nationwide at least in the grain crops — those that produce corn, soybeans, wheat,” said Allen Featherstone, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University.
Grain farmers have been the hardest hit, with the shutdown of Chinese markets in retaliation for new Trump tariffs resulting in a glut of unsellable product. While the Trump administration has attempted to lessen the blow to the tune of billions in hastily arranged subsidies, farm bankruptcies in the Midwest are skyrocketing as prices for soybeans and other products plummet. The government shutdown hit agricultural communities especially hard as well, causing delays of both vital government reports and vital government loans.
Farm communities aren’t easily going to bounce back from this. Even if Trump’s trade wars end tomorrow, the debts incurred during his multiple tantrums will be hanging over farmers for years.