Hard Times in the Heartland

With costs up and prices down, farmers are facing a grim year

No one sheds crocodile tears like a U.S. farmer. He is either crying about too much rain—or not enough. And he cries again when the harvest is so bountiful that it depresses the prices he gets. But when he examined his ledger over the winter, he usually had something to smile about: annual farm income often rose, and the value of land and machinery soared. No more. The tears flooding rural America this spring are genuine. Caught in a cashflow crunch, farmers are...

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