The USDA increased its net farm income forecast for 2019 by more than 10 percent, to $92.5 billion, driven largely by the Trump administration's trade aid payments to farmers and federal insurance indemnities from extreme weather events, USDA Economic Research Service senior economist Carrie Litkowski said in a conference call with reporters. | File photo

U.S. farm income expected to rise in 2019, but only because of government aid

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – Nearly one-third of projected U.S. net farm income this year will come from government aid and taxpayer-subsidized commodity insurance payments, according to a forecast issued last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA increased its net farm income forecast for 2019 by more than 10 percent, to $92.5 billion, driven […] Read more

U.S. propane prices surged 20 percent in October.  |  Getty Images

Midwest farmers scramble for propane

CHICAGO — Months after historic floods ravaged the U.S. Midwest, farmers scrambling to harvest their crops face a new headache: finding fuel to dry their soaked grains. Normally, farmers use propane as fuel for grain dryers to reduce moisture levels in corn crops to ready for sale or to safely store the grain. But the […] Read more

The extraordinarily wet spring delayed planting, and a waterlogged fall delayed harvesting and produced wet crops. That caused a surge in propane demand among crop farmers, even as livestock producers are buying to keep their barns warm and rural homeowners try to heat their homes - all of which is straining aging infrastructure used to deliver that fuel. And keeping people and animals warm takes precedence over grain drying. | File photo

High demand for propane challenging U.S. farmers

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – Months after historic floods ravaged the U.S. Midwest, farmers scrambling to harvest their crops face a new headache: finding fuel to dry their soaked grains. Normally, farmers use propane as fuel for grain dryers to reduce moisture levels in corn crops to ready for sale or to safely store the grain. But […] Read more


A constituency that helped carry Republican President Donald Trump to victory in 2016, U.S. farmers have been among the hardest hit from his trade policies that led to tariffs with key trading partners such as China, Canada and Mexico. | File photo

Many U.S. farmers fume at Washington, not Trump, over biofuel, trade policies

ROCHESTER, Minn./CHICAGO (Reuters) – American farmers helped elect President Donald Trump in 2016 on hopes he would shake up Washington and turn around a struggling agricultural economy, but many of his policies have actually stung farmers, notably his trade war with China and biofuel waivers for oil refiners. Many farmers are angry, and some are directing their anger […] Read more

At Trump's direction, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out $28 billion in trade aid for farmers over the past two years - $12 billion last year and another $16 billion announced this July and being disbursed now. |  REUTERS/Carlos Barria photo

Trump trade-war aid sows frustration in farm country

ROCHESTER, Minn., (Reuters) – The U.S. government is paying Texas cotton farmer J. Walt Hagood $145 an acre for losses related to U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies. But Minnesota soybean farmer Betsy Jensen will get just $35 an acre. Both farmers’ sales have taken heavy blows in Trump’s trade war with China. Neither understands […] Read more


Farm loan delinquencies surge in U.S. election battleground Wisconsin

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, (Reuters) – Farm loan delinquencies rose to a record high in June at Wisconsin’s community banks, data showed on Thursday, a sign President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts with China and other countries are hitting farmers hard in a state that could be crucial for his chances of re-election in 2020. The share of farm […] Read more

Corn yield potential averaged 173 bushels per acre (bpa) through 10 stops in the Iowa counties of Iowa, Poweshiek, Marshall, Tama, Grundy and Butler counties. That is down from last year's crop tour average in those areas of 193.55 bpa and the three-year tour average of 185.23 bpa. | File photo

U.S. corn yields improving as crop tour reaches west-central Iowa

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa, (Reuters) – Corn yield potential showed signs of improvement across west-central Iowa, scouts on an annual crop tour said on Thursday, but the area was still expected to produce a below-average sized crop after extreme weather delayed planting this past spring. Soybeans were also looking better on the fourth and final day […] Read more

Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated over unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions. | File photo

Farmer’s threat prompts USDA to pull staff from crop tour

HENRY COUNTY, Ill./CHICAGO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat came over the phone from an angry farmer. Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not […] Read more


On Tuesday, corn yield potential averaged 166 bushels per acre (bpa) through nine stops in the Indiana counties of Benton, Cass, Howard, Jasper, Miami, Tipton and White. That is down from last year's crop tour average in those areas of 178.7 bpa and those counties' three-year tour average of 173 bpa. | File photo

North-Central Indiana could face smaller corn yields

DE WITT COUNTY, Ill., (Reuters) – Corn farmers in north-central Indiana could be facing smaller corn yield potential this year, after extreme weather and heavy rains delayed plantings across wide swaths of the U.S. Midwest, scouts on an annual tour said Tuesday. Many of the soy fields surveyed in Indiana on the second day of […] Read more

U.S. Midwest bankers see farm loan repayment problems hit 20-year high

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – Midwest bankers reported that the percentage of farm loans their customers are having problems repaying hit a 20-year high in the second quarter this year, according to a survey released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Farm incomes also dropped for the period, as record floods devastated a wide […] Read more