Economy

Farmers flourish under Biden, see recovery from Trump-era trade wars

Donald Trump often espoused his love for America’s farmers during his presidency.

But after a year under President Joe Biden, farmers say they’re actually feeling the love.

“Well, certainly the difference between 2019 and 2021 is the differences in administrations,” Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer said in an interview. “In 2019, our administration was at war with all of our customers.” Under Biden, he said, the nation is “rebuilding our relationships with our customers.”

Trump courted support from farmers during his failed re-election campaign in 2020 and touted his administration’s trade relief, saying they were better off with government payments than relying solely on sales.

While the focus of the Biden administration has been on its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and more recently the global standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, the farm sector has fared quite well under the new administration, as farmers ease off of government bailouts and see a boost in commodity prices.

“We had farm income that was up by a pretty fair amount in 2021, almost to the record level of 2013, but not quite,” said Patrick Westhoff, director of the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. “Part of that, of course, was continuing government payments, but there was a very strong recovery in both crop and livestock prices last year.”

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