Wisconsin farmers are having a rough time lately. In the first quarter of 2019, 449 Wisconsin dairy farms went out of business, up 25% from the same time last year. Global commodity prices have tumbled in recent years, reducing income for farm families. A rapidly changing and unpredictable climate has disrupted planting and harvesting, and have resulted in severe crop loss. And to top it all off, U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have plunged the world’s two largest economies into a bitter trade war. After the Trump Administration imposed tariffs on Chinese products, the Chinese government recently announced they would suspend all purchases of U.S. agricultural products. China has become Wisconsin’s third largest trading partner, right after Canada and Mexico, so the loss of the Chinese market will certainly sting. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, joined Monday Buzz host Brian Standing to help us make sense of all this.
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