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  #21  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
The states view of cannabis, particularly medical marijuana, quite frankly pisses me off. I have been on several different so called pain medications in the past 4 years that did very little to control the pain but gave me bad side effects. One, a nerve pill, did nothing to help with nerve pain but caused me to gain 40lbs in 6 months as a lovely side effect. Another was supposed to help with muscle pain. Guess what, it didn't. But left me in a zombie like state half the day. And people are selling them like candy on the street corner for that reason. But they're legal.

Where am I going with this? Well, as a Canadian traveling to the states, it's perfectly fine to carry a whole pharmacy of opioids across the border with no consequences. But, even if I'm traveling into a state where medical marijuana is legal, I can't carry it with me. A medication that actually works and leaves me with no side effects. As soon as I mention that I have medical marijuana at the border, I'm immediately thrown into the same category as the average drug runner or dealer. Despite the fact that it is legal in Ontario where I'm coming from as well as being legal in Minnesota where I'm going, because the border is federally controlled and the federal government is about 20 years behind the times, all of a sudden I'm a criminal in their eyes and have the possibility of receiving a lifetime ban on entering the states.

Where does that leave me? I can choose to ignore the fact that the us government is antiquated and bring it with me hoping to not get caught at the border and if I do, suffer the consequences. I could leave it at home and switch to a so called legal pain med that leaves me feeling high all day and travel to the states. Or, I can stay home.

We just did mount Rushmore. That's 8 people traveling through the states eating American food, buying American gas, staying in American campgrounds etc for 2 weeks. When we got back, we had a serious discussion about ever going back to the states for more than a couple days as I can't bring my pain medication with me. I'm not talking about a high thc bud that leaves me stoned for hours. I'm talking about a very low % thc pill that is a slow release, actually works for the entire day to control severe nerve and muscle pain, and leaves me with no cognitive side effects. The federal government would rather see me jacked up on oxycontin all day walking around like a zombie.

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You might try going to a dispensary in the US when here I don't know if they would honor your Canadian medical card but getting one from a US doctor takes 10 minutes and are usually in or near the dispensary. Marty
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  #22  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

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Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
The states view of cannabis, particularly medical marijuana, quite frankly pisses me off. I have been on several different so called pain medications in the past 4 years that did very little to control the pain but gave me bad side effects. One, a nerve pill, did nothing to help with nerve pain but caused me to gain 40lbs in 6 months as a lovely side effect. Another was supposed to help with muscle pain. Guess what, it didn't. But left me in a zombie like state half the day. And people are selling them like candy on the street corner for that reason. But they're legal.

Where am I going with this? Well, as a Canadian traveling to the states, it's perfectly fine to carry a whole pharmacy of opioids across the border with no consequences. But, even if I'm traveling into a state where medical marijuana is legal, I can't carry it with me. A medication that actually works and leaves me with no side effects. As soon as I mention that I have medical marijuana at the border, I'm immediately thrown into the same category as the average drug runner or dealer. Despite the fact that it is legal in Ontario where I'm coming from as well as being legal in Minnesota where I'm going, because the border is federally controlled and the federal government is about 20 years behind the times, all of a sudden I'm a criminal in their eyes and have the possibility of receiving a lifetime ban on entering the states.

Where does that leave me? I can choose to ignore the fact that the us government is antiquated and bring it with me hoping to not get caught at the border and if I do, suffer the consequences. I could leave it at home and switch to a so called legal pain med that leaves me feeling high all day and travel to the states. Or, I can stay home.

We just did mount Rushmore. That's 8 people traveling through the states eating American food, buying American gas, staying in American campgrounds etc for 2 weeks. When we got back, we had a serious discussion about ever going back to the states for more than a couple days as I can't bring my pain medication with me. I'm not talking about a high thc bud that leaves me stoned for hours. I'm talking about a very low % thc pill that is a slow release, actually works for the entire day to control severe nerve and muscle pain, and leaves me with no cognitive side effects. The federal government would rather see me jacked up on oxycontin all day walking around like a zombie.

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Oh yes the border crossings....

Did you now if you have an OWI on your USA driving record, you will be refused to enter Canada? Yup, this is a fact, and it prevents me from taking my wife to Canada.... Ever.

So this works both ways, at the point of entry.

Both nations could use a shot of reality.

Regards, Kirk
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  #23  
Old 08-26-2019, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Kentucky continues its reign as one of the top hemp producers in the nation.

Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said that Kentucky hemp processors reported nearly $58 million in gross product sales in 2018, more than double the sales in 2017.

"It's a new economy for Kentucky," said farmer and Chief Executive Officer of A-1 Implements Max Hammond.

Hammond is advocating for farmers in Appalachia to invest in Kentucky's hemp industry.

"This is a way we can bring hope to Appalachia," said Hammond.

At a time where crops such as soybeans and tobacco are not selling for as much as they used to, hemp could be the key to the future of Kentucky farming.

"Tobacco, corn, soybeans, here in Kentucky, there is just not enough farmers to be in it," said farmer and machine inventor Cody Arvin.

Arvin said hemp sells for more-per-acre than other crops.

"This is an opportunity for Appalachia to be self-sustaining to revitalize our economy," said Max Hammond.

Not only does the hemp industry bring in more revenue, it also creates jobs. Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner said in 2018 the industry employed close to 500 people.

With big companies such as Legos and Levi using hemp for their products, the hemp industry is expected to continue growing.

"Chemists will benefit from this, welders will benefit from this, bookkeepers, truck drivers, mechanics," said Hammond.

Hemp is used to make CBD oil, food, fuel, fiber, and many other things.

"The water bottle in your hand, that could be made of hemp," said Hammond.

Hammond predicts that if the hemp industry catches on in Eastern Kentucky the region's economy would greatly benefit, and it would save local farms from going under.

WYMT
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

As of a year ago it was my understanding the machinery to separate the long and short fibers in hemp for paper and cloth are not in the USA. Only outside of our borders in Europe and China, have the said machines.

I hope this has, or shortly will change.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Hey Kirk, Does the recent agreement for the sale of USA corn and beef to JAPAN help you guys?

Seems they want to buy everything in our elevators.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

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Hey Kirk, Does the recent agreement for the sale of USA corn and beef to JAPAN help you guys?

Seems they want to buy everything in our elevators.
Glad you ask. Yes of course it does. As with the French culture, the Japanese are quite particular of their diet. Many will pay more for higher quality. Our beef is with out compare, unless you develop a taste for grass fat. I have a grass fat roast in the freezer, half the size of the same in a corn fed animal. I will soon give it an honest chance. But I have been told it takes some getting used to.. Lol.
Asian cultures treassure a beef and rice bowl. In fact, civil disobedience has broken out small scale because of it. Beef eat lots of corn and soy protein.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

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Glad you ask. Yes of course it does. As with the French culture, the Japanese are quite particular of their diet. Many will pay more for higher quality. Our beef is with out compare, unless you develop a taste for grass fat. I have a grass fat roast in the freezer, half the size of the same in a corn fed animal. I will soon give it an honest chance. But I have been told it takes some getting used to.. Lol.
Asian cultures treassure a beef and rice bowl. In fact, civil disobedience has broken out small scale because of it. Beef eat lots of corn and soy protein.

Regards, Kirk
Good to know. Of course you know Trump arranged it because next year is an election year.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....


Good news indeed!

USDA is opening an investigation of the beef packing industry.
Maybe some thing can come of this, just maybe the Ag processing industry will actually fallow the rules and the law concerning price collusion, price fixing.

I hope we get to clean the rats out of our hen house....

Regards, Kirk
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  #29  
Old 09-06-2019, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Farmageddon Is Real And Farmers Are Suffering

Farmageddon is real and very painful for a small segment of America. According to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible, Armageddon is the prophesied location of a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times. Today many farmers living in America's farm belt are facing tough times with no end in sight. The trade war with China has taken a toll by bringing grain exports to a near halt. This has caused grain prices to tumble adding to the list of blows hitting farmers. While the number of people employed on farms has declined over the decades farming remains a big business and has a huge impact on many communities. In these areas, the money flowing into local businesses as farmers sell their crops is evident in everything from truck sales to the little things common in everyday life such as dining out or getting a haircut.

The USDA's farm income forecasts are released three times a year. While little noticed by the average person living on the coast or in one of our many large cities this is a big deal. As mentioned earlier in this article farm income is not contained in a closed-loop but spills into other parts of the economy. Many areas in the heartland of America have not experienced the benefits showered upon Wall Street, because of this we should not be surprised if the gloom covering many areas of the country does not lift anytime soon. The chart to the right shows a "forecast of income" but fails to take the impact of the trade war into full consideration.

Sadly, getting support to the average working farmer is more difficult than it might seem. A recent article in AgMag claims About 9,000 "city slickers," that means, people living in luxurious neighborhoods in large cities received a farm bailout from the Trump administration's recent effort to minimize the impact of the trade war on farmers. An updated Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of Department of Agriculture data revealed that many recipients of the relief money live not in farm country but in large cities or other decidedly non-rural locations. These urban recipients of the bailout include members of farm families, landowners, and investors that provide land, capital, equipment for farms or make operational decisions for how a farm is run.

Farm real estate debt is expected to reach $263.7 billion in 2019, a 5.1 percent annual increase. Of this real estate debt accounts for 61.8 percent of total farm debt. Due to the weakness in the prices of crops and livestock, many farmers today suffer cash flow issues and struggle to get financing to plant crops. Farmer access to capital continues to be primarily in the form of debt. Commercial banks and the FCS have become more cautious as bankruptcy filings in the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) and Eight Circuit (N Dakota to Arkansas) have hit a10-year high. Most operators try to hang on when grain prices are low, hoping to still be in business when prices increase. Efficient farmers with manageable debt levels have the flexibility to stay profitable throughout the cycle but the smaller often less efficient farmers generally feel a huge impact from a drop in income and tighter lending criteria.

Adding to the already bad situation down on the farm is the negative feedback flowing from the recent decision by the EPA to ramp up the number of waivers that it grants to the refining industry, absolving some smaller refiners of the requirement to buy ethanol. The Trump administration's shocking decision to approve 31 and deny only six 2018 waiver requests has left the bio-fuels industry reeling was incensed. The Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw stated in a press release. “With this action, President Trump has destroyed over a billion gallons of bio-fuel demand and broken his promise to Iowa voters to protect the [Renewable Fuels Standard].” This caused futures prices for corn-based ethanol to plunge to a five-year low for this time of year and down roughly 25 percent since June. “The Trump administration has totally annihilated the margins for ethanol producers,” Charlie Sernatinger, head of global grains futures with ED&F Man Capital Markets, told the Wall Street Journal.

The EPA’s decision is merely the latest in a series of blows from Washington and the hits keep on coming. The U.S.-China trade war has battered the U.S. Midwest, as farmers have all but lost access to the Chinese market. China has turned to Brazil for ethanol and soybeans. Prices for U.S. soybeans, corn, and other agricultural commodities have plunged. Corn prices had rebounded after the Midwest was soaked in record-breaking floods that threatened corn plantings, however, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that yields are not expected to be as hard hit as previously expected. Normally this would be good news for farmers but higher-than-expected supply has sent corn prices tumbling.

Several months ago JPMorgan told clients the American agriculture complex is on the verge of disaster, with farmers caught in the crossfire of an escalating trade war. Modern farming is a capital intense business and over the years many farmers have taken on debt. They have come to count on income from grain exports to service their obligations. JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan alerted investors that, Overall, this is a perfect storm for US farmers," Because of this, in May, Duignan downgraded John Deere's stock to underweight, pointing to the fundamentals in the farm-belt as "rapidly deteriorating."

The pain felt in the farm-belt is very evident at dozens of John Deere dealerships where the agriculture bust that has triggered massive tractor sales declines and left stores reeling. Reuters contacted dozens of John Deere Stores across the Central and Midwest U.S. in an effort to access what the trade war and adverse weather conditions have had on tractor sales this year. It reports that about a half dozen stores across the Midwest said sales in the first half of 2019 collapsed. One store, in Geneseo, Illinois, saw sales fall 50% from the previous year. Sales orders for tractors next season are down, this is an indication that farmers expect the bust will continue through 2020.

The USDA forecasts the farm sector’s risk of insolvency to be at its highest level since 2002. The value of land, the most stable asset on the farmer’s balance sheet is impacted by commodity prices, interest rates and the cyclical nature of farm income. From the farmer's point of view, Trump may have made a big mistake when he recently decided to hold off on additional tariffs on Chinese goods because it will drag out negotiations. The President's motivation seems to be keeping consumer prices in stores low over the holidays. Christmas sales make up a good share of retailers overall annual revenue. Unfortunately, his move also delayed a resolution to the trade talks by removing pressure on China to come to the table. The bottom-line is farmers can expect export sales of grain pushed back again because China views that punishing the American farmer is a chief weapon in the negotiations.

For some graphs, photo's, and links included in the OP please view the OP Here
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Here is what I know...

Those who do not farm but own land and crop share lease it are able to receive federal farm subsidies, but only if their adjusted gross income is under one million dollars. Crop share lease land owner are my favorite land owners to deal with. They are willing to share in the good and the bad times, just as the farmer does. It is by far the fairest arrangement one can have with a land owner. When I retire, I will probably be a crop share land owner myself. One has to keep their mind in the game and participate in decision making. I have no issue with that, as I have done so all of my adult life... Cash rents are always out of step with farm incomes. They lag, and currently are to high, as the land owner did not receive the wealth of the 5 years of very high prices we had 6 years ago, and for the 5 years before that. Many land owners cash renting did not realize how much their tenant was making in those very profitable years until they were nearly over. But believe me they are still trying to make up for those years they did not profit from...

The bio fuel issue is par for the course for farmers. We were told one thing and received some thing else, with the small refinery wavers. MTBE is why we use ethanol. No other oxygenate can compete with it, nor is as environmentally benign as ethanol is. Burn it and you get CO and water as the emission's. It boosts octane rating by 3 points at 10% mix. E85 is 107 octane and can be used in engines with compression ratio's as high as 14 to 1, and that is what really boosts thermal efficiency is high compression ratio's of the hey days of the muscle cars of the 60's... Racers have been converting to E85 by the boat loads as they find they can run very high compression ratio's and spend $1.85/gal instead of Cam 2 for $15/gallon and make the same power output... We have 2 billon bushels of old crop "extra" corn weighing on the markets, along with huge amount of Wall Street money in the market on the short side, and that is really what is driving down the market of corn. Fat cat investor's are sucking the money from our markets and directly from farmers in the form of cheap grain at the market gates for farmers to swallow.

The markets lie all the time, with a narrative that hides the truth. For example, recently and quite surprisingly we hit the amount of soybean exports USDA said we would for the marketing year. 6 months ago, all the market could talk about was how we would NEVER meet those export sales. So how did we do it? China... They have been buying beans all along these past months, and at a record rate. Did you ever hear of those sales? Have bean prices risen... Nope...

Another example of the lying narrative promoted by Big Players in the grain industry is this. Right now we are at a huge risk, as a lot of this years crop was planted in June. A normal frost will render it useless as grain, yet we have absolutely none of this profound risk reflected in price. Oh and that risk is very high indeed, yet no one will admit it, and thus the markets have ignored this risk, and have this years crops "in the bin" as reflected by historic low prices today. I hope we have an early frost, just to prove these idiots wrong who control the AG narrative we have to put up with each day....

If we could some how get the investors out of our markets, or limit their impact, I fear many farmers will not survive these next few years. Investors drive prices way to low or way to high, and eliminate that precious "middle ground" were every one can make enough to pay the bills. In less than one week in June, corm prices fell by 70 cents. to a 1,000 acer corn farmer that is $70K gone from the value of his this years corn crop. In less than 4 days that happened fallowing a USDA crop report that said everything is just "fine" with this years crops.... Planted one month late...

John Deere feels the pain, but before long they will be foreclosing on Tractor loans, and now days they are financing crop inputs, becoming a defacto "Banker" to farmers "they care so much about" so we will see if they jerk the rug out from under their customers, the American farmer, as they sell world wide to those we compete with. No, I am not a John Deere fan. As we say John Deer's are like butt holes, every body has one....

Another suggestion, JP Morgan should get the hell out of Agriculture, as they are just one of many Wall Street firms that take money for nothing from our Agricultural market place that they are slowly destroying by taking from it with computer trading at millisecond speeds in Chicago, sh1t hole of the Mid West....

It has been a very long day, can you tell??

Regards, Kirk
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  #31  
Old 10-22-2019, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

Hemp Ethanol is About FIVE TIMES CHEAPER than Gasoline

Screen-Shot-2017-04-11-at-9.00.39-AM-678x381.png

Do you feel something happening? Do you feel like maybe we are on the brink of something incredible (possibly) as humans? For as much havoc as we have wreaked on this planet (and continue to wreak), sometimes I feel like the way we are coming back together, to stand together, to rise together, to be guided by our own individual moral compass rather than the tyrannical leaders is the point of this grand social experiment.

Sometimes.

Recently, UN scientists released a report that apparently shows the ‘human-made’ hole in the ozone layer is reversing in size. Okay, so what if we can work together and accomplish sometimes great?

Such is the case with the legalization of industrial hemp.

Hemp is now being recognized for being a healing and practical plant and is finally allowed to grow freely again. The mainstream is becoming okay with hemp. Even the politically-conservative, good-ol’ farming neighbors down the road have two fields of hemp growing this year.

To really see where we could be headed with hemp, think about a recent estimate from biofuel expert Tim Castleman:

“Hemp ethanol could be produced for 1.37 per gallon plus the cost of the feedstock, with technological improvements and tax credits reducing the price another dollar or so per gallon.”

If this statement is true, then the possibilities are truly amazing (I couldn’t read more into this as the address cited directed me to a website that was forbidden on my server). What information is out there about the growing of hemp, though, does offer a bit of hope.

Here are a few hemp facts:

1) Hemp doesn’t need as much fertilizer or water as corn, switchgrass or other energy crops

2) Hemp doesn’t require the expensive drying required of corn and sugar cane

3) Hemp can be grown where other energy crops can’t

4) Hemp is more resistant to “adverse fall weather” than other crops

5) Hemp has long been known to be the lowest-moisture highest-cellulose crop

6) Hemp remediates the soil, meaning hemp the ability to extract heavy metals and pollutants from the soil

7) Hemp can be grown in nearly every type of soil, which means nearly every country around the world can grow its own fuel source, which means no more oil wars (what? Oil wars?)

Digging around a little bit, one can find the facts about the first automobiles. The following information comes from a commentary by Hugh Downs in 1990:

“At one-time marijuana seemed to have a promising future as a cornerstone of industry. When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable. In the 1930s the Ford Motor Company also saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant, that included hemp, at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl-acetate and creosote. All fundamental ingredients for modern industry and now supplied by oil-related industries.”

The fact that (Rockefeller’s)Standard Oil, (Mellon’s) Gulf Oil and DuPont had a large part in the prohibition of hemp is a story for another day.

So with all of this plant’s versatility in the realm of fuel (hemp can be used to make biodiesel and ethanol), the low cost (under 50 cents per gallon for hemp fuel) and the long list of environmental bonuses, if people are really catching on to certain things and we are really coming together to stand up for what we know could be another truth about oil for energy, then it’s only a matter a time before we start seeing motor vehicles running on non-petroleum, hemp-based fuels…again.

ACHNews
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Whats a Farmer to do....

To me this seems logical, especially for poorer more marginal soils and slopes subject to erosion... Not so much for more prime heavier soils. Take the marginal ground in the Dakota's and let them have at it for example. Short growing season varieties of hemp are probably out there as well..

To make hemp into ethanol is much like converting corn stalks to ethanol. The genetically modified bacteria responsible for breaking the lignin bonds in plant fiber (cellulose) that has been developed for corn fodder will make hemp a possibility. And that bacteria exists because the corn ethanol folks created it...

Regards, Kirk
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:24 AM
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FARMERS IN CRISIS TURN TO HIGH-INTEREST LOANS…
Posted by Jacob Bunge and Kirk Maltais | Nov 10, 2019 | Drudge Report |

Farm debt is projected to hit a record $416 billion this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Financial stress is mounting in the Farm Belt, pushing more growers to take on high-interest loans outside traditional banks to stay in business.

After his local farm bank wouldn’t lend him as much as he said he needed in 2017, Iowa farmer James Kron turned to Ag Resource Management LLC, a Texas-based financial-services firm. Now, when he takes his corn and soybeans to grain elevators near his farm, he signs the checks over to ARM until his loan is paid back in full.

He is one of many farmers leaning on alternative lenders to make it through the steepest agricultural downturn in a generation. With crop prices stuck at low levels, traditional farm banks are placing stricter terms on farm loans and doling out less money, leaving cash-strapped farmers such as Mr. Kron to seek capital from more lightly regulated entities.

While firms including ARM, FarmOp Capital LLC and Fora Financial LLC can be a lifeline for farmers, their loans can carry interest rates double those of traditional farm banks, said farmers, agricultural economists and lenders. The funding can require closer monitoring of how farmers spend as well as liens on each bushel of grain they produce.

“They keep their finger on you,” said Mr. Kron, who has borrowed from ARM over the past three years at interest rates of about 8%. Comparable rates at more-traditional banks are between 2% and 5%.

Five straight years of bumper harvests have pushed down crop prices and eroded farm profits. The Trump administration’s trade war with China has further depressed demand for U.S. crops. Record wet weather this year left millions of acres unplanted.

Farm debt is projected to hit a record $416 billion this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up nearly 40% since 2012. Defaults and bankruptcies are rising as well, crimping the ability of cash-strapped farmers to secure funding for seed, fertilizer and fuel.

The total value of loans from the largest banks working in agriculture has climbed about 4% over the past five years, but some big banks have cut back, particularly on loans to smaller, less-capitalized farmers, lending officials said. That reflects their assessment that those farmers face greater risks from low crop prices and a year of bad weather, they said.

“A lot of balance sheets deteriorated to below what a lender would accept,” said Curt Hudnutt, head of North America rural banking at Rabobank, one of the world’s largest farm banks.

Wells Fargo & Co., U.S. Bancorp and Bank of America Corp. have cut their non-real estate agricultural loan portfolios by 8%, 36% and 57%, respectively, in the past five years, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Farmers of crops such as corn and soybeans are having a tougher time meeting the financial requirements for a loan, said Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at Wells Fargo. He said the bank is lending more to farmers of increasingly popular crops such as almonds and pistachios. U.S. Bancorp and Bank of America declined to comment.

For collateral, alternative farm lenders rely on crop-insurance policies, government payments and crop-sale proceeds rather than real estate, equipment and other assets. Lenders said that allows them to lend to farmers who don’t own much land or are working their way out of bankruptcy.

“We can keep the grower farming,” said Billy Moore, president of insurance and field operations at ARM. The 10-year-old firm, backed by private equity, lends to 1,600 farmers in 19 states. Mr. Moore said the firm’s loan volume has grown at a 40% rate over the past three years.

David Kohl, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at Virginia Tech, estimated such firms supply about 2% of financing to U.S. farms. They can provide a financial bridge to struggling farmers, but their looser regulation allows the firms more control over rates and terms, he said.

The trade war with China is putting a strain on the U.S. agriculture industry. WSJ’s Jason Bellini sat down with a group of farmers from the corn, beef, soybean, and dairy industries to hear how tariffs are affecting their businesses.

“It’s shadow financing for ag,” Prof. Kohl said. “It’s hot money trying to find a place to get a good return without a lot of oversight.”

Heath Jobe, a 32-year-old Arkansas construction worker and farmer, said he quickly secured a loan from ARM after showing that his crop was insured and that he had enough equipment. A week later, he had $118,000 to buy seed, chemicals and fuel.

Dry weather hurt Mr. Jobe’s rice, bean and corn crop in a recent year. When he tried to make a claim, his insurance company said he hadn’t properly documented his crop losses. Loan payments carrying an interest rate of about 9% piled up. Mr. Jobe said ARM turned down his request for a new loan. A few months later, he filed for bankruptcy.

“If you don’t make a crop and you have a bad year, they’ll clean your clock,” Mr. Jobe said.

Mr. Moore of ARM declined to comment on the specifics of Mr. Jobe’s case. He said such outcomes are rare.

Some bankruptcy attorneys said costlier terms from nonbank lenders can make it hard for farmers to shore up their finances. Joe Peiffer, an attorney in Iowa, said a client secured a $500,000 loan from Fora Financial, a New York-based small-business lender. The loan carried an interest rate above 30%, Mr. Peiffer said, and required daily payments through automatic withdrawals from the farm’s account.

“The money was extremely expensive,” Mr. Peiffer said. He said the farmer, who declined to be interviewed, has liquidated his operation. Fora didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Other farmers said alternative lenders gave them a lifeline when no one else would. John Bulman, who raises cabbage and grain near Elizabeth City, N.C., said he filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after a bank refused to extend his credit following a string of poor harvests.

The bank had a lien on his crops, Mr. Bulman said, and he needed fresh cash to finish harvesting and selling them. ARM gave him $400,000 at a rate of 12%. “If it wasn’t for ARM, I wouldn’t be farming today,” he said.

Alternative lenders said new technology allows them to keep closer tabs on crops to make sure farmers are on track to meet their payment terms.

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When will farmers be able to sustain their business without loans again? Join the conversation below.

St. Paul, Minn.-based FarmOp Capital tracks crop growth with satellites and data funneled from farm machinery. If a field is facing pests or disease, the company checks in with the farmer, said FarmOp Chief Executive

Bill York.

While FarmOp can provide quick capital at rates generally between 6.5% and 8.5%, evaluate operations and help farmers monitor crops, those steps are only effective up to a point, he said.

“If they don’t have the ability to efficiently produce a crop, and their viability going forward, we’re not going to be a magic bullet,” he said.

Write to Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@wsj.com and Kirk Maltais at Kirk.Maltais@wsj.com
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"Bankers in the Kansas City Fed region expected agricultural credit conditions and farm income to continue to decline in coming months," the report read.

It continued: "Although numerous contacts indicated that government payments connected to ongoing trade disputes provided some support, most bankers pointed to an ongoing environment of low agricultural commodity prices and elevated costs as the primary factors contributing to the weakness."

The report says that the stability of farm real estate will continue to provide support to farm finances, and likely will be a key determinant of credit conditions in the year ahead.

And hey, don't worry - we all know real estate will never crash, right?

Farmageddon
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China Will Starve Without American Agricultural Products

Uh, no. This is a very weird argument. It's as if some people assume that the US is China's only potential source for food. China buys agricultural products from all over the world, and has alternative sources for foods like soybeans and pork, including Brazil, Mexico and Russia.

Prices will rise in China, sure, but nowhere near the point of collapse. Again, the Chinese are not reliant on the US for anything, so, the idea that the US has overt leverage in the trade war is simply not true.
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