It’s been a tough year for farmers here in Iowa and across much of America. After several years of low commodity prices, President Donald Trump’s tariffs and government shutdown have rocked the markets.
Only the largest of operations are making any money. Land prices are down, farm real estate listings are up, younger farmers are looking bankruptcy in the face and older farmers are saying they’ve had enough, and retiring. To share just one significant number, hog operations are losing $18 a hog.
A new survey of bankers in 10 Plains and Western states tells us the regional rural economy is shrinking, a casualty of Trump’s “tariffs and low commodity prices.”
One sobering observation is that dairy organizations are publishing suicide hotline numbers.
Trump trade representative Robert Lighthizer, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” last December, said he considers March 1 “a hard deadline” to reach a trade deal with China.