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Bad Weather and Trump's Trade War Spawn U.S. Farmer Quandary

  • They risk losing a corn bushel a day if planting after mid-May
  • Fields may switch to soybean; making insurance claim an option
Floodwaters surround corn sitting under a collapsed grain bins in this aerial photograph over Pacific Junction, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Clay Govier reckons he’ll be kept out of his fields through the Memorial Day weekend as a torrent of rain drenches farms across the U.S. Midwest and Great Plains.

While that may give Govier an unwanted break from fieldwork, the U.S. farmer will be kept busy by a dilemma: He has to consider whether it would prove more profitable to grow corn or switch to soybean once the downpour abates. Or plant nothing at all and make an insurance claim for his troubles. Adding to the confusion is a lack of clarity over a government aid package for those hurt by the trade war with China.