Farmers Need Positive Market Movement and Soon

It’s no secret that the rural economy is struggling. Prices are sinking. Farm incomes are falling. Farm bankruptcies rising. And farmers and ranchers are growing increasingly worried about their ability to weather the storm.

Chris Skorupa, a cattle producer and Vice President of the Rural and Agriculture Council of America, says markets need to make a positive move soon before more farms and ranches are lost…China Market

“This issue isn’t only affecting ranchers in Montana, but those across the country. For example, the USDA released an amazing stat in March that showed America lost an average of seven dairies every day in 2018. For most states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, that depend on a vibrant dairy sector, that is alarming. Something needs to change ASAP before these bankruptcies spread throughout Main Street.”

Skorupa says the easiest way to quickly move the market is a renewed focus on increasing trade opportunities. This would help ease commodity surpluses that are hammering the heartland…

“Congress has a very attractive trade deal in front of it right now. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Once approved, it will lock in export access to key North American markets, it will level the playing field for America by addressing Canada’s unfair trade policies and will expand sales. Congress needs to bring USMCA up for a vote immediately, and they need to ratify the trade deal without haste.”

Mexico and Canada are key markets for corn and soybean farmers in Illinois, Iowa and other states throughout the Midwest. But USMCA passage may not provide as much market uptick as these key crops need…

“We need to open new markets too. That’s why the negotiation of free and fair deals with China, Japan and Europe are so important. The Administration has the power to further negotiations with each immediately. And they can help tear down the retaliatory tariffs in China and Mexico that are killing rural America.”

Skorupa acknowledges that this trade wish list will be a heavy lift, but he is encouraged by the passion he’s seeing in rural America. Almost all farm groups, both big and small, are prioritizing trade and almost all are pushing policymakers to make a change.