Our credit and thanks to Mary Papenfuss, writer of Huffington Post, for this article which confirms independent research of   We have always believed in the "heartland," and American farmers represent the heartland of the United States of America. Therefore we watch the economic issues of farmers. This story focuses on only one sector of American farming, but our research indicates that the losses and financial pressures, particularly due to shrinking markets due to inept tariff policies coming out of the White House, are destined to force many more farmers into bankruptcy.   BBB

Trump Trade War Helps Push Farmers Into Record Number Of Bankruptcies

By Mary Papenfuss 


Dairy farmers were counting on China milk buyers before the trade war. “The problem is both nations have stubborn leaders,” an industry analyst said.  Setting sun.

Photo Credit:   Tomassereda via Getty Images, Setting Sun


Midwestern farmers are filing the highest number of bankruptcies in a decade

Hard times for farmers got tougher with President Donald Trump’s trade war. Now Midwestern farmers are filing the highest number of bankruptcies in a decade, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data.

And farmers aren’t hopeful about this year.

Twice as many farmers in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin declared bankruptcy last year compared to 2008, according to statistics from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Journal reported. Bankruptcies in states from North Dakota to Arkansas leaped 96 percent, according to figures from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Farmers are being battered by sinking commodity prices — and stiff tariffs from China and Mexico in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on imports.

The new 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) treaty last year slashed tariffs — but not for U.S. farmers since the Trump administration pulled out of negotiations. That drove customers to farmers and ranchers in competitive countries, like Australia, serving another dunning blow to American operations.

Farmers fear it will take years to rebuild those trading relationships.

According to figures from the U.S. Agriculture Department, farm income last year was about 50 percent of what it was in 2013, the Wisconsin State Farmer reported.

The dairy industry was hopeful about meeting growing demand in China, but now trade is a major stumbling block.

“The problem is that both nations have stubborn leaders,” Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said at an agricultural forum last week in Madison.

Soybeans were also a major victim. “Agriculture prices live and die by exports."

Soybeans were also a major victim. “Agriculture prices live and die by exports. In all commodities, we’re heavily dependent on China, especially for soybeans,” Kevin Bernhardt, agribusiness professor at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, told the Milwaukee Independent.

Government subsidies to farmers were up 18 percent last year over the previous year, due to the $4.7 billion in tariff aid and $1.6 billion in disaster payments for farmers impacted by hurricanes, floods and other disasters. But it wasn’t enough to stave off the end for some.

Comments from   In Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, but particularly the rich Panhandle farming belt of west Texas, we see many farmers resorting to putting their own "owned" lands on the back burner, because to make financial ends meet they are having to do "custom" farming for other farmers for much needed cash.  So, some farmers to survive these days and pay for the expensive equipment and overhead are farming 3, 4, sometimes 5 other farms including their own.  Sadly, often their own farms get put at the back of the schedule, sometimes creating a lower quality or profit from their own lands.    We suggest respectfully that Americans need to elect more politicians who have experience and knowledge of agricultural markets and farming challenges.  Our productivity, creation of new wealth in America comes not only from industrial manufacturing, high tech, and "rust belt" production, but it also comes from the production of farming, ranching and agriculture.  The Chinese, Russians, Brazilians, Argentinians, Canadians that we compete with in global markets recognize this.  Yet we are allowing our own political leaders to "savage" farmer prospects of making a living. 

Wake up Americans, voters, farmers!  Elect quality people who understand agriculture, understand your challenges, and appreciate how much our farmers and ranchers contribute to our economy.  Voice your needs and concerns in DC. Break out of this ideological slavery that is destroying your way of life.   Like the old commercial once said about chili: "From New York City!! No way!"   BBB