Tag Archives: farmers

“Worst Year Ever”: The Chinese Ban On U.S. Agricultural Products Will Be A Death Blow For Countless U.S. Farms, by Michael Snyder

Between the weather and retaliation for Trump’s tariffs, farmers are getting mauled. From Michael Snyder at theeconomicollapseblog.com:

U.S. farmers have never experienced a year quite like this.  During the first half of 2019, endless rain and unprecedented flooding were the major problems.  As a result of the incredibly wet conditions, millions of acres of prime farmland didn’t get planted at all, and tens of millions of other acres are going to yield a lot less than usual.  Even without anything else happening, we were going to see farm bankruptcies soar to absolutely crazy levels, but now the Chinese government is essentially cutting off U.S. agricultural imports.  This will greatly depress the prices that U.S. farmers get for their crops, and so many farmers that were still hoping to squeeze out a profit for this year will be hit with a loss instead.  Ultimately, the truth is that 2019 is going to be a death blow for countless U.S. farmers that were barely hanging on financially after a string of really tough years.  Many will leave the industry entirely and never go back to farming again, and our nation will be worse off because of it.

When the Chinese announced that they were going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, it sent shockwaves across the middle portion of the country.  According to the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, our farmers and ranchers will now be facing “just a really tough, tough time”

“This is a body blow to farmers and ranchers all across the country,” Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, told FOX Business. “That’s one of the things that we are feeling the effects of, and this is on top of a year when mother nature has been a terrible business partner in many parts of the country. It’s just a really tough, tough time for farmers and ranchers in this country.”

Shares of industrial, farming, oil and transportation companies have plummeted, a direct result of the increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Of course President Trump is trying to be upbeat and he is promising that the Chinese will not be able to hurt our farmers, but the truth is that they already have.

Continue reading

The American Blob: Government Will Grow Until It Consumes Itself, Explodes, Dies, and Then We Shall Be Free Again, by Stucky

The title progression isn’t too far from what SLL envisions for the future. From Stucky at theburningplatform.com:

We had such a small government when George Washington was President. There were just three Cabinet positions:  the honestly named Secretary of War, who was responsible for both canons on the Hudson being aimed at England; the Secretary of Treasury, who carried the entire budget in his wallet; and the Secretary of Holding the President’s Horse. The Supreme Court only had one wig.  And the Washington Monument was exactly the same height as George, and people said it looked exactly like him.

Q: So, how did government get so BIG???   

A:  By responding to the NEEDS of the PEOPLE!

Let’s look at the needs of farmers. In 1860, about 60% of America’s population lived/worked on farms. Farmers had many needs, and the nation needed a steady reliable source of food, so in 1862 president Lincoln created the Department of Agriculture.  In his final message to Congress, Lincoln called the USDA “The People’s Department.” (That’s really true, and probably the funniest line in this essay.)

Continue reading→

 

Trump’s Farm Bailout Is Win-Lose, by Bill Bonner

What Trump taketh away from farmers in trade he’s trying to give back to them in subsidies. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

What a spectacular summer!

People may be frying eggs on the sidewalks of Algiers and fighting forest fires in Sweden, but here in Ireland, the heatwave is a delight.

Farmers are grousing, of course, but we are enjoying daytime temperatures in the mid-70s and beautiful, clear skies.

Farmers are grumbling in the U.S., too. The weather is always a favorite subject. And this year, they have something more to kvetch about – the trade war.

Casualties are beginning to pile up. This from Bloomberg:

Harley-Davidson Inc. on Tuesday cut its profit margin forecast, citing tariffs. The iconic motorcycle maker was caught in the crossfire of the trade war last month when it announced plans to shift some U.S. production overseas, prompting attacks from Trump.

Dutch electronics firm Royal Philips NV Chief Executive Frans van Houten says an escalation of tariffs may mean it has to pass on costs to customers, and Whirlpool Corp. said rising raw material costs hurt results in some of its markets in the second quarter.

Farm Bailout

Out on the Great Plains, the bodies lie especially thick. The damage estimate so far: $11 billion.

But U.S. farmers are not locking arms like Londoners during the Blitz, or going on short rations like Soviets during the Siege of Leningrad. If anyone is going to make wartime sacrifices… it’s not going to be them.

They’ve got two senators per state… and a Republican Party that needs their money and their votes.

As expected, America’s president proposed yesterday to bail out the farm sector with $12 billion in welfare payments.

Naturally, the president feels some responsibility in the matter, since it was he who put the hayseeds under water.

He also looks ahead to the midterm election season, when the fellows with the big tractors make a big impression on the politicians.

The Donald has replaced win-win with win-lose. But the $12 billion won’t come out of Donald Trump’s pocket.

Nor will it come from the U.S. Treasury. The feds don’t have any money; they’re already projected to run a trillion dollars in the hole for fiscal year 2019.

So where will the money come from?

Will taxes be raised on consumers, also hurt by the trade war? Will the steel producers… or steel workers… or steel buyers – similarly damaged – pony up the money? Which group will get the rewards? Which will be punished?

To continue reading: Trump’s Farm Bailout Is Win-Lose

How Trump’s “Doom And Gloom” Tariffs Are Crippling American Farmers, by Tyler Durden

Tariffs on aluminum and steel are hurting farmers, and that’s before the retaliatory tariffs from China on American agricultural products kick in. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The tariffs that President Trump vowed to put in place while campaigning – and followed through on – like many government solutions, are solving one problem while creating others at the same time. In this case, the “unintended consequences” from steel tariffs are hurting agricultural jobs across the Midwest, putting pressure on some of the most vehement supporters of President Trump.

A Reuters expose released this morning reveals how how tariffs – as well-intentioned as they may have been – have led to higher cost of goods for farmers across the country.

The authors tell several personal stories, including that of a farmer who was about to purchase a $71,000 grain mill, but had to hold off on the purchase because the seller raised the price 5% to account for the rising price of steel:

Lucas Strom, who runs a century-old family farm in rural Illinois, canceled an order to buy a new $71,000 grain storage bin last month – after the seller raised the price 5 percent in a day.

The reason: steel prices jumped right after U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs.

Throughout U.S. farm country, where Trump has enjoyed strong support, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are boosting costs for equipment and infrastructure and causing some farmers and agricultural firms to scrap purchases and expansion plans, according to Reuters’ interviews with farmers, manufacturers, construction firms and food shippers.

The impact of rising steel prices on agriculture illustrates the unintended and unpredictable consequences of aggressive protectionism in a global economy. And the blow comes as farmers fear a more direct hit from retaliatory tariffs threatened by China on crops such as sorghum and soybeans, the most valuable U.S. agricultural export.

A&P Grain Systems in Maple Park, Illinois – the seller of the storage bin Strom wanted to buy with a neighboring farmer – raised its price two days after Trump announced aluminum and steel tariffs on March 1 to protect U.S. producers of the metals. Strom and his neighbor backed out.

To continue reading: How Trump’s “Doom And Gloom” Tariffs Are Crippling American Farmers