In Iowa, Trump’s Trade War With China Caused 140% Increase In Farm Bankruptcies

JakeThomas

Iowa saw 24 farms go bankrupt over the year ending September 2019.

The Des Moine Register reported in December that President Donald Trump’s cash bailouts were not enough to save Iowa farmers, who instead saw “a cash crunch that had 44% of producers last year struggling to cover their bills, an Iowa State University report shows.”

The percentage of financially vulnerable farmers climbed from 31% in 2014, according to the report that examines growers' ability to cover short-term liabilities such as seed, fertilizer and herbicides with easily accessible assets such as cash, stored grain and market-ready livestock.

"It's very, very concerning," said Alejandro Plastina, the ISU agriculture economist who conducted the study. "It’s getting harder and harder for farm operations to cash-flow their business."

Farmers have struggled to escape a downturn that began in 2013, a slump made worse by a U.S. trade war with China, Mexico and Canada that cut exports and depressed already low prices.

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Iowa had 24 farm bankruptcies over the past year ending in September, a 140% increase over a year earlier. Altogether, Iowa has 86,100 farm operations.

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