Farmers Aid in 2019
Farmers are growing increasingly concerned about mounting losses as the current trade wars continue.
Farmers' personal incomes fell the most in three years in the first quarter of 2019, according to a new report, and that's prompting Farmers Unions to call for more farm aid. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved $12 billion in farm assistance last year, but Secretary Sonny Perdue says more aid isn't yet on the table.
Farmers Union VP Bob Kuylen says the agency's prediction that the market will recover in the next six to eight years could spell doom for some farmers.
"My personal fear is, we're going to lose another generation of young farmers," says Kuylen. "We had a lot of them get in when the prices got better, and it was great to see the young people getting going out there. A lot of their parents helped them. A lot of people tried doing it on their own, but a lot of those are leaving already."
Kuylen says the Farmers Union believes Congress should step in and approve aid to offset the drop in the market from tariffs and trade conflicts.
Kuylen says he advocated for economic disaster assistance, citing growing farm debt and bankruptcies.
"Our sales for the first three months of the year are the lowest we've ever had," says Kuylen. "No one's buying anything; they're just sitting on their grain and waiting, and hoping. And like I told Sonny Perdue, I said, 'You can walk into a bank with a bag of hope and you're not going to get very far.'"
The deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program is May 17th.
The agency says nearly 600,000 applicants have received more than $8 billion in aid from the program so far.