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Trump Beating Down Farmers with Tariffs and Ethanol Waivers

Farmers who still support Trump suffer from something like battered-spouse syndrome—they just can’t break free of a brute who by every objective standard is bad for them:

The biggest worry for farmers used to be the weather. Now it’s the government, specifically the Trump administration and its supporters in Congress.

In June 2018, southern Minnesota soybean prices were $9.40 per bushel before the soybean tariffs were set to be imposed by China. The country was, of course, retaliating for tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the Trump administration.

A year later, with tariffs in place and exports down 66%, prices are $7.93 per bushel. That’s a price decline of almost 16%.

Collectively, soybean farmers in Region Nine counties surrounding Mankato lost nearly $81 million.

Corn is not much better. Prices have fallen 12 percent since President Donald Trump started providing waivers to oil companies to exempt them from blending ethanol. The 31 waivers the administraton has approved has translated into 300 million bushels of lost corn demand.

The ethanol waivers that favor the oil industry are a good example of how government kills private entrepreneurial activity. Farmers built the nation’s ethanol industry one co-op and one plant at a time. They deserve better [editorial, “Government Hurting Crop Prices, Farmer Income,” Mankato Free Press, 2019.09.15].

And please spare me the short-term-pain-for-long-term-gain excuses. The beatings will not stop until you leave the beater.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-09-22 15:28

    Bean harvest got under way this past week on at least three farms in the area. Not hearing much in public, but some serious grousing behind the scenes. Looking like wingnuts will pretend nothing is wrong and bluff their way through until the election.

    Haven’t heard about 2 recent auctions to know if the cash is flowing for good used equipment and/or land purchases. Usually the neighbors gossip about sales all the time. Maybe their enthusiasm is damped down.

  2. Clyde 2019-09-22 21:09

    Auctioneer in the heart of drowned South Dakota informed me they are booked for 4 to 5 auctions a week up till harvest is in full swing. Of course these would not be all farm related but it sounded as if its a lot more than normal.

    Lots of homes for sale in Dakota Dunes….Dan Lederman’s home town in So Dak. Thinking maybe high water and full upstream reservoir’s might be making some of those folks rethink climate change.

  3. Debbo 2019-09-22 21:39

    Yeah. Battered Spouse/Stockholm Syndrome indeed. SD voters and SDGOP is the same.

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