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Trade wars, climate change plunge the family farm into crisis


Farmer walks through his soy fields in Harvard, Illinois.

Nova Safo | AFP | Getty Images

Farm bankruptcies in September surged 24% amid a perfect storm created by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and Europe, slumping commodity prices, and a year of unfavorable weather. This August, the USDA reported that more than 19.4 million acres of farmland nationwide weren’t planted due to record spring rains and historic, catastrophic flooding.

According to a report released Wednesday by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest general farm organization, U.S. farmers increasingly depend on trade aid and other federal programs for income. Record-high debt and a rise in…


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