Farmers Have Been Idled by Trump’s Shutdown

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The federal government's current inability to administer Trump's bailout for farmers is a significant problem, but it's far from the only one facing farmers who are more or less paralyzed while Trump's shutdown continues.

Farmers who spoke to the New York Times say they can't even begin the process of planning their next harvest because the data they rely on is unavailable while the federal government is closed.

Now, farmers and farm groups say that federal crop payments have stopped flowing. Farmers cannot get federally backed operating loans to buy seed for their spring planting, or feed for their livestock. They cannot look up new government data about beef prices or soybean yields to make decisions about planting and selling their goods in an ever-changing global market.

“This is real,” said Jeff Witte, president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and New Mexico’s agriculture secretary. “You had farmers who were in the process of closing a loan or getting an operating loan. Now there’s nobody there to service those.”

Some farmers who spoke to the New York Times also said they still support Trump, but when Trump visits the Farm Bureau next week I expect opposition to his policies will be visible.

As you may recall, the last time Trump visited the Farm Bureau (pictured above) he was greeted by farmers wearing pins and hats to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A majority of farmers never wanted Trump's trade war or his bailout and I can't imagine many of them are pleased by the government shutdown.

In any case, it seems all but assured that the cumulative consequences of Trump's shutdown will have a noticeable impact on first quarter economic growth.

  • muselet

    A majority of farmers never wanted Trump’s trade war or his bailout and I can’t imagine many of them are pleased by the government shutdown.

    But that’s what Trump-supporting farmers voted for in 2016. As ever, my sympathies to those farmers who didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but the rest of them are going to have to learn the hard way that elections have consequences.


  • mnpollio

    Truthfully, I have zero sympathy for these farmers. This man has been on a solid path to eviscerate this country at the behest of his Russian and Saudi overlords and whatever kickbacks they throw his way and these farmers still support him? Even when it impacts them as it has? Who knew that hating the same people that the lowlifes in the “real America heartland” despise for their differences would be such an enduring hit for Trump. There needs to be some kind of reckoning for this level of self-destructiveness and if it ends up being the loss of their livelihoods, then so be it. I hope he takes them right down the drain with him.

    • David Greenberg

      I couldn’t agree more. Whatever underlies the vicious ugliness of his supporters (poor education?) the breadth and depth of it is astounding. The problem here, while I could give a shit less about idiot farmers who continue to support him, is that the same poor people, elderly and minorities will once again be the sufferers as the price of food skyrockets.

  • katanahamon

    That’s good..I’m so glad that after all the scandals, the resignations, the firings, the indictments, his obvious unsuitability for the job, his senility, his people going to jail that they still say they support him. They deserve to follow him into bankruptcy.

    • gescove

      It is an unfathomable mystery to me why he keeps his base of support. There’s the quote from a furloughed Federal worker in Florida that’s been circulating: “He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.” So it’s really about wanting him to punch down on the poors, the blacks, the browns, and all the Others. They will cheer his plan to declare an emergency, take disaster relief from “foreign” Puerto Rico and those damn libruls in California, and build a stupid wall. Agreed that “They deserve to follow him into bankruptcy.” Jeebus.