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Midwest farmers struggle amid floods, trade war

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 26, 2019 - Duration: 01:21s

Midwest farmers struggle amid floods, trade war

Frustration and fear are building across the flood-hit U.S. farm country, as many farmers are forced to deal with devastated land, crops, equipment and livestock as they struggle with the financial hardship caused by a U.S.-China trade war.

Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Midwest farmers struggle amid floods, trade war

The devastation is extensive but beneath it farmers in the Midwest were already reeling.

Many were preparing to plant their crops when they found themselves inundated by record flooding, triggered by a recent so-called ‘bomb cyclone’.

And — it comes as many of these farmers are also financially pressed by a U.S.-China trade war.

One that has seen China — the world’s biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans — largely cut off purchases.

THIS all comes as the Trump administration released its 2020 budget, which proposed a 15 percent cut for the Department of Agriculture ...Meaning the pain could only get worse.

Reuters correspondent Humeyra Pamuk spoke with worried farmers in Nebraska: (SOUNDBITE) HUMEYRA PAMUK, SAYING: “If this cut is approved, crop insurance is going to be one of the items most hardly hit.

It’s going to be reduced by 26 percent.

And because of this flood, farmers are going to have to rely on crop insurance a lot.” Experts say farmers’ total debt is hitting levels unseen since the U.S. farm collapse of the 1980s.

The agricultural flood damage in Nebraska has reach nearly $1 billion dollars, according to the governor.

And they’re not yet in the clear.

Meteorologists say extensive flooding will become more dire in the coming weeks, as water flows downstream.

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