Farmers’ incomes cropped
US farmers are gearing up for another tough year. Farm incomes are expected to hit their lowest point since 2006 and borrowing costs are rising, federal data shows, as a slump in the agricultural economy enters its fifth year.
A string of bumper corn and soybean harvests has added to a glut of grain worldwide, eroding prices for US farmers.
“The state of the rural economy is fragile,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told members of Congress during a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee. “There’s a lot of stress and a lot of duress on the farms today.”
Farmers worry they could suffer if trade disputes disrupt US exports or if the Trump administration’s efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement lead to constrained access to customers in Canada and Mexico.
“Agriculture typically is the point of the spear” in trade wars, Mr Perdue said.