Midwest farmers fear livestock losses from flooding

 A road is covered with floodwater from the Pecatonica River
A road is covered with floodwater from the Pecatonica River in Freeport, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

During a difficult year for U.S. agriculture amid President Trump's trade war with China, record-breaking floods in the Midwest are causing farmers to lose their livestock en masse, further putting their livelihoods at risk, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Lessened demand due to Trump's trade policies and greater international competition in agriculture already pushed Farm Belt bankruptcies last year to the highest level in a decade. Now, the floods across the Midwest could cause a $400 million hit to the state's livestock sector as farmers in the region are cut off from their cattle herds — and the supplies necessary to care for them.

Go deeper: Farmers hit by Trump tariffs, crop prices struggling to repay loans

U.S. to reduce protections for gray wolves

Gray wolf.
Photo: John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Interior Department is expected to announce that it is lifting protections for gray wolves in the coming days, rules put in place in the 1970s following a period of widespread killings by farmers and ranchers, the Associated Press reports.

Between the lines: While the administration is going to argue that wolves have largely made a comeback from these killings, wildlife advocates are likely to push for federal protections to remain in place until wolves repopulate within their historic range, which spans across the country.

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