It’s the wettest planting season American farmers can remember – And the flood season isn’t coming close to an end with Colorado’s snowpack being 437% of normal

Monday, June 3, 2019
By Paul Martin

StrangeSounds.org
Jun 3, 2019

There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining.

“You hear words like biblical, unprecedented,” said Sherman Newlin, a corn and soybean farmer in Illinois. “That’s all true.”

It was raining when U.S. farmers, a year into being squeezed out of the world’s largest soybean market by the trade war with China, were supposed to start putting down crops. It was raining when President Donald Trump risked starting a feud with Mexico, the biggest buyer of U.S. corn, by threatening to slap tariffs on its exports.

The storms and rains may soon lift, but the layers of uncertainty just keep adding up.

Farmers who have lost access to Chinese soy buyers don’t see relief on the horizon. Other countries may chip away at corn exports. With Brazil reaping a bumper crop while U.S. farmers watched the weather, buyers in Asia were shopping for South American grain.

Now there are the fears about Mexico, which bought about $5.5 billion in U.S. grain and soy shipments last year. Tariffs could also upend ratification of the new trade agreement between Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, said Beth Ford, chief executive officer of Land O’Lakes Inc. “Stress is at a tipping point for many in farm country,” she said. “The last thing they need right now is more uncertainty.”

The National Grain and Feed Association agreed, saying in a statement that the duties “unquestionably will jeopardize” the accord.

“It is fair to say that there has never been a geopolitical situation in modern times like the one we have right now,” Matt Campbell, a risk management consultant at INTL FCStone, said in an email.

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