Escalating trade war causing anxiety in America's heartland

May 14, 2019 - 2:14 pm

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is causing anxiety among rural farmers and bankers.

Upper Midwest soybean farmer Jamie Beyer says these are days of "a little bit of panic." Minnesota agriculture lender Kent Thiesse (TEE'-see) says most farmers were able to get financing for spring planting, but more federal aid might be needed to head off "serious losses" this fall.

The Commerce Department says farmers' personal income declined by $11.8 billion through the first three months of 2019. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says a similar pace of decline is expected in coming months.

RSM chief economist Joseph Brusuelas says the farm sector might see its greatest downturn in three decades.

President Donald Trump promises more aid. But the American Soybean Association says farmers are tired of being "collateral damage in an endless tariff war."

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