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U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm

The combination of the wettest planting season in U.S. history, a catastrophic trade war with China and economic conditions that are brutal for small farms has produced a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers. Farm bankruptcies have already risen to the highest level in 7 years, but many expect that they will soon surge to all-time record highs. Due to the incredibly wet weather, millions upon millions of acres of prime U.S. farmland will not be planted with crops at all this year. And millions of acres that do get planted will yield a lot less than usual because of the wretched conditions. Meanwhile, the U.S. will export far less corn and soybeans than usual this year due to our trade conflicts with China and Mexico. With much less international demand, U.S. farmers are going to have an increasingly difficult time trying to make a profit on anything they are able to grow. In the end, thousands of farmers will not be able to recover from this crisis and will be forced out of the industry for good.

According to USA Today, “a near biblical parade of misfortune” has created “the worst farm crisis since the 1980s”…

American farmers already plagued by a near biblical parade of misfortune that includes years of low prices and a trade war with China are now grappling with record Midwest rain that will likely prevent a large portion of this year’s crop from even getting planted.

The troubles have created the worst farm crisis since the 1980s, when oversupplies and a U.S. grain embargo against the Soviet Union forced thousands of farmers into bankruptcy, experts say.

So we can definitely say that this is the worst farm crisis in a generation, but the truth is that this crisis is far from over.

By the time it is over, we may look back and say that this was the worst farm crisis that the U.S. has ever seen.

The biggest problem for farmers so far in 2019 has been endless rain and flooding. Farmers kept waiting for a break in the weather that never came, and at this point the number of acres that have not been planted with crops is “unprecedented”…

Rain and flooding that began in March have kept farmers from planting a major portion of their crops during the normal mid-April to mid-May season in states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan. As of Sunday, 39% of soybean acres have been planted in the 18 largest producing states, compared with an average 79% over the past five years, Agriculture Department figures show. Sixty-seven percent of corn acres are in the ground, vs. an average 96%. Such delays are unprecedented, Newton says.

What this means is that the amount of food that America’s farmers will produce this year is going to be way, way below normal. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Due To Cataclysmic Flooding, Millions Upon Millions Of Acres Of U.S. Farmland Will Not Be Planted With Crops This Year”.

And to make matters worse, another monster storm is going to move through the middle of the country this week.

In fact, we are being told that some areas could see “a foot or more of rain”…

However, there is the potential for some areas of the Interstate 10 and 20 corridors to receive a foot or more of rain from the multiple-day event that may last through the weekend.

Rainfall of this magnitude will trigger street and poor drainage area flooding, initially. Motorists should be prepared for road closures, substantial delays and the need to alter their routes. To drive through flooded roadways is extremely dangerous.

For some farms, this will be the final nail in the coffin.

For others, their coffins were nailed shut a long time ago.

And things had already gotten really tough for U.S. farmers leading into 2019. Net farm income fell by almost half between 2013 and 2018, and so U.S. farmers desperately needed a bounce back year in a major way.

Instead, they are experiencing a year from hell.

Of course it isn’t just the weather. African Swine Fever and our trade conflicts with China and Mexico are making things extremely difficult as well…

There’s more. An African swine fever virus could suppress the production of Chinese pigs – which feed on soybeans – for years. And Trump last week threatened tariffs on all Mexican imports to prod the country into curtailing illegal immigration from Central America. Mexico vowed retaliation that could mean duties on U.S. exports such as corn, dairy and beef.

According to one report, China now plans to put purchases of U.S. soybeans “on pause”, and they are apparently turning to Brazil to fill their soybean needs.

If the trade war lasts long enough, this shift in the marketplace may become permanent and U.S. soybean exports to China may never be the same again.

So what are U.S. soybean farmers supposed to do? Without demand from China, thousands of soybean farmers face financial ruin. Many of them will be praying for a trade agreement, but at this point it doesn’t appear that one will happen for the foreseeable future.

I know that a lot of people living on both coasts still do not get it, but this crisis is absolutely devastating communities all across the heartland of America.

And that should greatly concern all of us, because if they do not produce food, we do not eat.

This is a major national crisis, and the mainstream media has not paid nearly enough attention to it.

Shame on them, and this is yet another example that shows why confidence in the mainstream media has never been lower in our history.

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Due To Cataclysmic Flooding, Millions Upon Millions Of Acres Of U.S. Farmland Will Not Be Planted With Crops This Year

It looks like 2019 c upould be the worst year for U.S. agriculture in modern American history by a very wide margin. As you will see below, millions upon millions of acres of U.S. farmland will go unused this year due to cataclysmic flooding. And many of the farmers that did manage to plant crops are reporting extremely disappointing results.

The 12 month period that concluded at the end of April was the wettest 12 month period in U.S. history, and more storms just kept on coming throughout the month of May. And now forecasters are warning of another series of storms this week, and following that it looks like a tropical storm will pummel the region. As Bloomberg has pointed out, we have truly never seen a year like this ever before…

There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining.

Many farmers just kept waiting for the flooding and the rain to end so that they could plant their crops, but that didn’t happen.

At this point it is too late for many farmers to plant crops at all, and it is now being projected that 6 million acres of farmland that is usually used for corn will go completely unsown this year…

There has never been weather like this, either. The 12 months that ended with April were the wettest ever for the contiguous U.S. That spurred other firsts: Corn plantings are further behind schedule for this time of year than they have been in records dating to 1980 and analysts are predicting an unheard-of 6 million acres intended for the grain may simply go unsown this year.

And we could actually see even more soybean acres go unplanted, because the latest crop progress report shows that soybean planting is even further behind…

The Crop Progress indicated just 67% of corn was planted in 18 key corn-producing states. The 2014-18 average for corn planted by June 2nd is 96%, so planting is off 30.2% in comparison.

Corn planting has been at an all-time low percentage for the last three reports and remains behind schedule in 17 of the 18 states monitored.

Soybean planting is behind in 16 of the 18 key soybean-producing states, according to the report. So far, just 39% of soybean planting has taken place, compared to the five-year average of 79% by June 2nd, meaning soybean planting is off 50.6%.

In the end, we could easily see more than 10 million acres of U.S. farmland go completely unused this year.

And please don’t assume that the acres that have been planted are going to be okay. In Nebraska, farmer Ed Brummels said that conditions are so bad that it is “like we are trying to plant on top of a lake!”…

It’s like we are trying to plant on top of a lake! Planting will be over soon as farmers continue to be frustrated with these very saturated conditions.

When you plant fields that are absolutely saturated with water, the results can be extremely disappointing, and that is what we are hearing all over the nation.

Here is just one example…

In Keota, Iowa, Lindsay Greiner sowed his 700 acres of corn toward the end of April — and then wasn’t able to get into his soaked fields for five weeks. He’s expecting much lower yields this year than last.

The crop right now is yellow. “It should be green,” he said. “It looks so bad.”

Farmers in the middle of the country desperately need things to dry out for an extended period of time.

But that is not going to happen any time soon.

In fact, meteorologists are telling us that more storms are going to hammer the middle of the country over the next few days…

The situation does not look to improve for farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt. AccuWeather is predicting the pattern of rounds of showers and thunderstorms to continue, with storms over part of the flood-stricken areas into midweek. Also, the southern half of the Corn Belt is in the path of downpours expected later this week.

“If you’re along the Ohio River and you don’t have your corn planted by Wednesday, you may not plant anything additional because you may get three inches of rain between Thursday and Saturday,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Sadly, some areas could see “up to 5 inches of rain”, and needless to say that could be absolutely devastating for many farmers.

And then after that, a weather system that could soon be named “Tropical Storm Barry” is likely to move into the region…

To make matters worse, rain from a developing tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico could bring additional rainfall to the region: “Tropical moisture from the western Gulf of Mexico may begin impacting parts of south Texas on Tuesday,” the National Weather Service said.

The weather system, which would be named Tropical Storm Barry if its winds reach 39 mph, is now sitting in the Gulf just east of Mexico.

2019 is turning out to be a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many of them will never recover from this.

Meanwhile, flooding continues to intensify along the major rivers in the middle of the country. According to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, almost 400 roads have now been closed in his state…

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson was touring flooded areas Monday in the northeast part of the state, where there have been around a dozen water rescues. Statewide, nearly 400 roads are closed, including part of U.S. 136.

Locks and dams upstream of St. Louis are shut down as the Mississippi River crests at the second-highest level on record in some communities. Midwestern rivers have flooded periodically since March, causing billions of dollars of damage to farmland, homes and businesses from Oklahoma and Arkansas and up to Michigan.

This flooding has been going on for months, and there is no end in sight.

In recent days, multiple levees in the state of Missouri have been breached, and a number of small towns are now totally under water…

The small town of Levasy in northwest Missouri’s Jackson County was under water Saturday after a levee breach along the Missouri River. Officials there were conducting water rescues by boat, according to the Associated Press, but no injuries were reported.

In Howard County in central Missouri, the river topped a levee prompting evacuations in Franklin, New Franklin and a stretch along Highway 5 from the Boonville Bridge to New Franklin, AP reported. The zone essentially covers all of the Missouri River bottom from Petersburg to Rocheport.

In West Alton and Alton, where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers meet, floodwaters are expected to rise another 3 feet by Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Some buildings in Alton are already surrounded by water, and the flood plain in West Alton is covered.

This is a nightmare that never seems to end, but many Americans living on both coasts don’t seem to be taking this disaster very seriously.

But they should be taking it seriously because if farmers don’t grow our food, we don’t eat.

The food that we are eating right now is from past production. The crops that are being grown now represent food that we will be eating in the future, and right now it looks like a whole lot less food will be produced than we expected.

That means that food prices will start going up, and they will probably keep going up for the foreseeable future.

We are moving into extremely uncertain times, but most Americans don’t seem to understand this yet.

For a very long time we have been able to take stability for granted, but now everything is starting to change. Those that are wise will be able to adapt to the changing conditions, but unfortunately it appears that most Americans believe that there is simply nothing to be concerned about

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JPM Warns About “Perfect Storm” American Farm Crisis, Slashes Deere To Sell

An escalating Sino-American trade war is creating turmoil in rural America.

JPMorgan told clients Tuesday, the American agriculture complex is on the verge of disaster, with farmers caught in the crossfire of an escalating trade war, reported the Financial Times.

"Overall, this is a perfect storm for US farmers," JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan warned investors.

With a farm crisis currently underway, Duignan downgraded John Deere’s stock to underweight, citing fundamentals in the Midwest are “rapidly deteriorating.”

And his downgrade was well-timed after Deere’s earnings overnight, as Bloomberg reports that Deere & Co. is no longer “cautiously optimistic” as it has been for so long.

The machinery giant reported lower-than-expected earnings and cut its annual guidance as its farmer customers shun major purchases amid uncertainty about demand for their products.

“Ongoing concerns about export-market access, near-term demand for commodities such as soybeans, and a delayed planting season in much of North America are causing farmers to become much more cautious about making major purchases,” Chief Executive Officer Sam Allen said in a statement Friday.

And shares are tumbling…

Farmers are facing tremendous headwinds, including worsening trade war, collapsing soybean exports, global oversupply conditions, and crop yield losses in the Midwest due to flooding.

“As a result of tariffs and excess global supply, US soybean export inspections are down 27%” YoY, Duignan wrote. She added that the Chinese are shunning US farmers and are purchasing crops from South America.

Refinitiv trade flows indicate the trade war has cut over 80% of US soybean exports to China so far this market year (September-August).

Domestically, “the Midwest is off to a very slow start in 2019/20,” Duignan wrote. The growing season is “off to a bad start,” and soybeans are far behind in “planting progress” compared with 2018, she said.

After promising over the weekend to “never surrender to external pressure,” Beijing defied President Trump’s demands that it not resort to retaliatory tariffs and announced plans to slap new levies on $60 billion in US goods.

China’s retaliatory tariff rate increase comes after the White House raised tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on Friday.

In more bad news, China might completely stop purchasing agricultural products from the US. There are currently 7.4 million metric tons of beans that have not yet been shipped to China, according to the US Department of Agriculture data. China could easily cancel the orders, or if the beans are en route, Chinese ports could refuse to take the cargo, a Bloomberg headline said.

This all comes at a time when farmers are defaulting and missing payments at alarming rates, forcing regional banks to restructure and refinance existing loans.

Several months ago, we showed the number of farmers filing for bankruptcy climbed to its highest level in a decade.

Because of the unfriendly environment, the level of farm debt is approaching highs not seen since the farm crisis of the early 1980s.

The deepening trade war has led Trump to pledge $15 billion worth of agricultural product purchases from American farmers through the Commodity Credit Corp., a federal agency given authority during the Great Depression to stabilize prices.

Farmers are some of Trump’s key supporters, they’ve been big advocates of getting a better trade deal with Beijing, but now many are running out of patience as the Midwest goes bankrupt – triggering JPM to write a gloomy note to investors of the next farm crisis

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