Trump is assuring a bumper year to farmers ahead of the November 3 election, with government subsidies making up a third of farm income for 2020.
The payments could be key to Trump’s elective success in the Midwest swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota as farmers overwhelmingly favored Trump in 2016.
Farmers have continued their support through trade wars that led to billions of dollars of losses in agricultural exports.
Government payments, ranging from longstanding crop insurance payments to new programs compensating farmers for lost sales during the U.S.-China trade war, have risen every year of Trump’s presidency.
Farmers are also saying their income has suffered by Trump’s policy of exempting some oil refiners of blending ethanol into their fuel, reducing the demand for corn. Biden has pledged a more multilateral approach to international trade, but farmers seem placated with the subsidies handed out by Trump.
Farmers initially pleaded to Trump for “trade not aid” in 2018 but have since received repeated bailouts even as COVID-19 stimulus for millions of other Americans stalls in Congress.
The latest $14 billion farm aid package announced in September would raise federal payments to $51.2 billion, making the government’s share of farmers’ net cash income 39.7%, the biggest in 20 years.
This would be the equivalent of a 4% raise in income for farmers from the previous year alone.
See more at Reuters.