Tensions in the farming community are running high. The Trump administration received a threat to staffers planning a tour of Midwestern corn and soybean fields. That prompted the Department of Agriculture to cancel the tour, according to an email Wednesday from Hubert Hamer, administrator of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Bloomberg:
The USDA’s crop-tour withdrawal comes about two weeks after farmers leveled criticism at Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at a fair in Minnesota over President Donald Trump’s yearlong trade war with China, which has eroded demand and pressured already low prices.
Trump’s overwhelming support in rural America was crucial to his narrow 2016 election victory and maintaining farmer’s backing is critical to his re-election. Just this week, the administration has taken criticism from agricultural interests for its handling of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the policy that mandates use of corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel.
On Tuesday, the Iowa Soybean Association sent a letter to Trump and Perdue, asking for a meeting to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s granting of small refinery exemptions, saying that the agency’s Aug. 9 announcement that it granted 31 waivers adds to the “economic pain Iowa’s farmers and biodiesel producers are experiencing.”
The farmers erroneously bet on the wrong horse in voting for Trump and they’ve taken a hell of a beating. Many are in danger of losing their farms. They don’t want another bailout, they want markets to sell in. Trump’s travesty of a trade war has taken away foreign markets for soybeans, notably China, who now buys them from Russia. Isn’t that cheerful? Mexico, likewise, is dealing with Argentina, not just on duty free cars but on wheat, corn and soy, and that market is unlikely to return either. It’s no secret that farmers, a traditionally stoic group, are p*ssed, as they struggle for survival and Trump keeps handing out tranches of money, first $12Billion last year and he promised another $16Billion in farm aid last month. GOP fiscal conservatism at work, yes siree. And you may recall Trump’s aberrant comments in Council Bluffs, Iowa in June, when after the usual rag on “Sleepy Joe” and the boast about all the money pouring in from tariffs on China, Trump defined the plight of the farmers thusly.
“They have not treated the Midwest well with broadband, with anything having to do with the word ‘computer.’ I look at some of those tractors and they don’t even hook up. They’re all set, but you don’t have the capability here in terms of your infrastructure.”
That, friends, is Donald Trump improvising dialogue, which he thinks is witty, urbane, and original, when it is nonsensical and so off-point as to belong in another time zone. Trump stabbed the farmers of America in the back and he’s too stupid to know it. But they are not. Let’s see Sonny Purdue put a band aid on this mess, like Larry Kudlow is trying to do with the economy. The wheels are coming off the wagon, as Adam Schiff opined that they would, early on in the game. And Trump thinks his only problem with Iowa is Steve King? Hahahahahahahaha……