Statement by RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall on this week’s announcement of a bailout package for farmers impacted by the U.S. trade war
“The government bailout for farmers sounds good, but it will not work well for farmers and ranchers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Most of the cash will go to soybean producers in Indiana and Ohio, and the payments for corn growers will only be one cent per bushel, and hardly worth the effort. Plus, many of the county FSA offices that will deal with this additional paperwork are still understaffed, another issue we haven’t received assurance on from the administration for some time, now.
“This bailout is in response to a failed trade war whose only outcome has been to cause increasing uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. The bailout fails to work out for many farmers and isn’t available to others. What happens if this situation gets worse? Will a second bailout be needed?
“Ag lenders will not count this bailout as income. Nor will the bailout offer a long-term solution. In fact, the current trade war launched by the U.S. against many of our trading partners worldwide is likely to see American export markets disappear. Those markets might be gone forever.
“Farm and ranch families are facing a financial crisis. Farm income is down by more than 50 percent. Weather disasters have hammered some fields into the ground, and drought has decimated crops across much of our region. Market prices for crops and livestock are not enough to even cover the cost of production.
“The real solution is twofold. One: pass a Farm Bill that provides a well-funded and working safety net. Two: back away from a trade war that no one will win, and that leaves American farmers, ranchers, and rural communities on the losing end. More than anything, farmers want trade over aid, and they deserve certainty in these uncertain times.”