One significant group of President Trump’s rural constituents have reportedly been pushed to the brink: Corn growers in Nebraska.
According to a recent press release issued by the Nebraska Corn Board, corn growers in the Cornhusker State are economically strained from what they call “the Trump administration’s lack of support for the American farmer.” Specifically, corn growers are angry with Trump for not upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires fuel sold throughout the U.S. to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel, like ethanol, which is derived from corn.
“President Trump’s administration continues to erode the RFS by granting 31 unjustified refinery waivers, destroying demand for corn and ultimately choosing to bail out the oil industry rather than helping American farmers,” the Nebraska Corn Board stated. “Corn farmers are already suffering from ongoing trade disputes, uncertain weather and continued low prices.”
Agriculture site FarmFlavor reports that corn is Nebraska’s “most widely grown crop,” and the Cornhusker State ranks #3 out of all 50 states in corn production, with farmers producing more than 1.6 billion bushels of the crop each year.
According to the Des Moines Register, President Trump has authorized 85 different waivers for oil refineries — which let them off the hook for not including ethanol in a portion of fuel produced — since taking office in January of 2017. Nebraska’s corn growers view the Trump administration’s EPA recent waivers for 31 different oil refineries as a “slap in the face” to Nebraska farmers.
“All we’re getting is lip service. At one moment, we think President Trump is on our side, and then the refinery waivers come through. It’s truly a slap in the face. Farmers are hurting and it just keeps getting worse,” Nebraska Corn Board chairman David Bruntz stated.
The statement from the Nebraska Corn Board is just the latest sting to farmers under the Trump administration. As Grit Post has previously reported, suicide rates are on the rise among people who work in the agricultural sector, as incomes for people in the farming, fishing, and forestry industries have been steadily declining over the last several decades.
“We’re bleeding pretty badly,” National Pork Producer Council president Jim Heimerl said of Trump’s trade war with China in 2018. “The Midwest elected our president. He has made many statements, realizing the red states in Midwest elected him. He promised to look after our farmers, but talk only goes so far.”
Should farmers in the Midwest decide to stop supporting Trump by the time the 2020 election comes around, it could very well cost him the election. Earlier this month, a soybean farmer in Ohio who backed Trump in 2016 vowed he won’t vote to re-elect him due to losses in his industry incurred from the trade war.
(Featured image: Ryan Archer/Pexels/Creative Commons)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.