Farmer Approval of Trump Hits Record, Poll Shows
By Kirk Maltais
Approval of President Trump among farmers in the Corn Belt is on
the rise following the signing of the long-awaited U.S.-China trade
deal last week.
According to a monthly poll from agricultural trade publication
Farm Journal released Sunday, 83% of farmers and ranchers approve
of the president's job performance. It is the highest level of
support for Trump among farmers since he took office, Farm Journal
The poll collected 1,286 responses among roughly 5,000 ranchers
and farmers asked via text to give their opinion. Respondents were
nationwide, but concentrated mostly in Midwest states like
Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Nebraska.
"We have heard repeatedly from farmers that they believe in the
end of the trade fight with China," said John Herath, news director
at Farm Journal.
The uptick in farmer support comes following the signing of the
so-called phase-one trade agreement in Washington on Wednesday. The
deal stipulates that China will purchase roughly $36 billion worth
of U.S. agricultural exports in 2020, and over $43 billion in
Also playing a role in boosting farmer sentiment is the U.S.
Senate passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Thursday, the
free-trade deal replacing the 26-year-old North American Free Trade
"This trade agreement comes at a critical time for farmers and
ranchers, increasing optimism that we'll turn the corner in 2020,"
said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall in a statement
Thursday following the Senate vote.
However, futures markets haven't responded strongly to these
deals. Since the U.S.-China deal's signing, soybean futures on the
Chicago Board of Trade have fallen 1.3%, closing at nearly $9.30
per bushel Friday. Corn and wheat futures have only marginally
risen, by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively.
Weight on grains futures came mostly from what was perceived as
terms favorable to China in the written agreement, allowing for
Chinese buyers to start and stop export purchases depending on need
and market conditions. However, traders believe China will buy
large shipments of U.S. agriculture soon, with the deal specifying
a 30-day window from the signing date for most commodities before a
purchase program starts.
"While this may have turned out to be a disappointing week for
many, I believe it will ultimately turnout to be nothing more than
a detour on the road to recovery," said Dan Hueber, general manager
of the Hueber Report, an agricultural research newsletter.
Farmers had a trying year in 2019, due to record rainfall during
the spring and global trade tensions sinking commodity prices. Farm
debt in 2019 is projected to hit $416 billion, a record, according
to the American Farm Bureau.
Write to Kirk Maltais at Kirk.Maltais@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 19, 2020 17:10 ET (22:10 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.