Wisconsin lost 10% of dairy farmers as Trumps trade war raged

dandyfopp


Wisconsin lost 10% of its dairy farmers in 2019, marking its biggest decline ever as Trump's trade wars raged

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-trade-war-impact-farmers-wisconsin-biggest-decline-on-record-2020-1-1028815780

  • Wisconsin shed 10% of its dairy farmers last year, according to data from the state's Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
  • It marked the biggest drop in a single year, and underscored the negative impact of Trump's trade war in a state critical to his re-election bid.
  • Last year, China slashed its purchases of American dairy products by 50%, helping to throw scores of farmers out of business.
  • The business environment has particularly worsened for small farmers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Wisconsin shed 10% of its dairy farmers last year, data from the state's Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection shows.

It marked the biggest one-year drop on record, and underscored the negative impact of Trump's trade war on a swing state critical to his re-election bid.

In 2019, Wisconsin lost 819 dairy farms, the department said, leaving 7,292 dairy farms in place. The state leads the nation in the number of farm bankruptcies, according to the American Farm Bureau.

After Trump launched his trade war against China and other friendly nations in 2018, China responded by slapping hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tariffs on American products.

Last year, China slashed its purchases of American dairy products by 50%. Combined with falling milk prices, the trade war has thrown many farmers out of business. The economic environment has worsened considerably for small dairy farms in particular.

The state's coveted 11 electoral votes went to Trump by 23,000 votes in 2016 - or less than one percentage point - a razor-thin margin that promises to make it another key battleground in the 2020 election. Additional volatility could weaken his support among farmers, though their backing remains strong.

Farmers have suffered significant business losses because of the trade war, resulting in a $28 billion bailout package that's double the amount the government forked over to Detroit automakers at the height of the recession a decade ago.

Still, a greater share of that aid may be going to richer farmers. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization, said in a study released in November that wealthier farmers have drawn larger cash payments compared to poorer ones.

Americans have also borne the brunt of Trump's tariffs. A paper released this week from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that consumers paid for "approximately 100 percent" of the tariffs in the form of increased prices.

However, both China and the United States are set to sign a "phase one" agreement that would de-escalate the trade war on Wednesday.

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Comments (12)
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Nicole (CO Z5b)(5b)

"Still, a greater share of that aid may be going to richer farmers. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization, said in a study released in November that wealthier farmers have drawn larger cash payments compared to poorer ones."

Trump's SOCIALIST program, guess his supporters don't mind this either.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

A paper released this week from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that consumers paid for "approximately 100 percent" of the tariffs in the form of increased prices.

So much winning for the consumers.

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maddie260

NO bailouts for farmers- not unless everyone affected by the tariffs is also bailed out. dt is only bailing out farmers for votes.

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Iris GW

Will those farmers still vote for Trump?

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lurker111

I've heard that products like almond milk are really hurting the dairy industry. I don't buy dairy products and eat as little as possible. Nasty stuff.

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Iris GW

Absolutely it is a given that there is competition in the beverage industry. In addition, Borden lost a large share of its milk business to in-house Walmart production so that's a factor but in that case the demand to farmers should still be there. That was mentioned in the news about their bankruptcy.

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

"Wisconsin lost 10% of its dairy farmers in 2019, marking its biggest decline ever as Trump's trade wars raged"

...and China is paying for the tariffs, just like Mexico is paying for the wall.

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lurker111

I haven't noticed any price increases from China. In fact, everything is cheaper. I love shopping in China and Australia. I bought most of my Rolex watches from Australia due to the exchange rate. I have a fondness for vintage Dunklings Rolex watches.

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zmith

I was also going to bring up the fact that dairy consumption is down, in reference to Lurker's comment about almond milk consumption increasing. Many American's have figured out they don't need dairy and the flatulence and inflamation that comes with it.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

I like dairy products - milk, buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream. They're all good. No one in my family is lactose intolerant so that's not an issue.

Almond milk is ok. It's not particularly pleasant on cereal, but I don't hate it. I never buy almond milk because someone in the house has a nut allergy. On the other hand, some people also have allergies to dairy, so it's good to have choices.

Farming has been dwindling for decades. We know how to get more with less, so we don't need as much acreage and stock to get the same yields.

Young people are not interested in taking up the family farming business. Even in larger families you often can't find one offspring who's willing to continue the business.

There have been a number of newspaper articles pointing to this problem -elderly farmers whose children have no interest in farming. They can't find anyone else who is interested either. Lots of farmers have to resort to renting out land to hobby farmers and/or trying to create niche markets for their products. Eventually, they sell the land to developers or hobby farmers when they become too old to do the work or they can no longer stay afloat.

The farms around here have been multi-generational institutions, so they are loved and it's sad to see them shut down. They are our neighbors and friends, so you hate to see them fold up their tents.

Tariffs are generally stupid.

Tariffs don't help, but the problem is more institutional than that. We don't need as many farmers, farming is no longer a widespread profession, and the job is not appealing to the vast majority of young people anymore. These trends have been going on for decades.

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floodwaters

Ive been around dairy farming for 70 years, Trump is doing nothing to hurt them. They have alwys had to deal with poor prices and asked for parity for many yearts. No one could afford dairy products todsay if it kept up to parity. Overwhelmingly farmers support Trump as they know they've been getting robbed a l;ong time. trumo is seen as supporting the economy, for many. Duh, look around. Farmers are the worlds biggest gamblers. Every year they lay down their fortunes for seed, ferts, etc. and wait to see if they will win or lose.

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