The state of Wisconsin has seen over 900 suicides since 2017 and that includes a period of time that pre-dates Trump's trade war and the retaliatory tariffs our trading partners have placed on American agriculture in response, but farm industry experts say a significant portion of that number includes farmers.
The exact number of farmers who've committed suicide is not available, but industry support groups say the number of calls they received from distressed farmers surged in November and December of 2018.
Experts say a wide range of factors like low commodity prices have contributed to depression and suicides, but so has the frankly insulting amount of aide they've received or not received from the Trump regime.
John Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders, said rates of depression and suicide among farmers in Wisconsin have reached a level so extreme that the state has lost half of its farmers since 2004. [...]
Peck said Wisconsin was set to receive a total of $10 million in relief money for the state’s farmers, but that has yet to materialize.
“There are only 11 farms that received $50,000 each, 237 [farms] got less than $100,” Peck said. “62 farms go less than $20 … one farm got only $1.”
Peck also blamed large factory farms for lowering commodity prices by producing too much milk. And that's certainly a factor, but it's also true that the industry cannot find enough consumers to purchase their milk because of Trump's trade war with our closest neighbors and China. Losing access to the biggest consumer market in the world (China) means almost every agricultural sector has found itself with more product than it can sell.
The Wisconsin State Journal recently reported that calls to hotlines for distressed farmers increased by 33 percent in just November and December. State authorities speaking off the record also say that many deaths on farms listed as "accidents" were in fact suicides, but the total number of suicides on farms is unknown.
Even if we're fortunate enough to see a scenario in which China eliminates its retaliatory tariffs on American agriculture, that will still leave retaliatory tariffs imposed by many other countries including Mexico and Canada on the books.