A dip in grain prices is pushing more American farms out of business, the Wall Street Journal reports. Farmers are also being pushed into debt as income has plunged for the fourth straight year.
Being a farmer in America is a tough gig these days. Farmers' incomes are set to decline by 9 percent in 2017 according to the Agriculture Department while the farm economy has grown more unpredictable in the U.S. because of success in the international market. A combination of a high dollar, cheap oil and record harvests have set back American farmers.
"Unless emerging-market currencies stop falling, the U.S. will lose more export market share and will begin to see more foreign product coming in," Michael McDougall, director of agricultural commodities at Société Générale SA in New York, told the WSJ.
Farmers around Sterling, Kansas, in 2015 lost about $6,400 on average, a year after profits of $80,800. Economists don’t expect this dip to be as stark as the Farm Belt crisis in the 1980s, when record harvests led to overproduction and lower prices and farmland value dropped by nearly 60 percent in some parts of the country.
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