American farmers are set to leave a record number of acres without corn, after extreme rainfall flooded most of the Mississippi banks and agricultural landmass.
And now they face the prospect of also failing to plant soybeans because of rampant rainfall. Conditions and morale are very low in northwestern Illinois, typically the second-biggest corn-producing state.
The headwinds growers are facing are multiple. Record rain has flooded Midwest streets and snarled Mississippi River traffic, crucial to delivering inputs that farmers need and a major artery in helping them ship products.
Besides the rain, farmers have borne the brunt of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
The administration is preparing a second round of tariff-aid payments to farmers, as well as looking into freeing up funds for growers claiming what’s known as prevented plant insurance and who sow an eligible cover crop.
Pete Christensen, a fourth-generation grower who runs 2,500 acres, says he was unable to plant a third of his crop this year.
Christensen says farmers don’t want to rely on insurance, in the same way someone with car insurance only makes a claim in the event of an accident.
What’s more, several farmers said that even once the soaked corn is harvested, they’re going to incur costs associated with having to dry it out.
Strange Sounds Organization / ABC Flash Point Agricultural News 2019.