Oct 17, 2019

Billionaire W.Va. governor's family business received maximum amount of trade war farm aid

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The family business of billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) received the maximum $125,000 allowed under a federal program designed to aid farmers during the U.S.-China trade war, according to records reviewed by AP.

By the numbers: Justice's farming company took in $121,398 in soybean subsidies and $3,602 for corn — despite the fact that the median payments for the program are $6,438 and $152, respectively. A study of Department of Agriculture data from earlier this year showed that more than 50% of the farm aid went to the nation's largest and wealthiest farms.

Go deeper: Farm aid from Trump's trade war has cost more than double the 2009 auto bailout

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Nearly 40% of 2019 farm income will come from federal aid and insurance

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Agriculture Department projects that farm incomes will reach $88 billion in 2019 but nearly 40% of that — $33 billion — will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, the farm bill and insurance indemnities, according to a new report by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Why it matters: Farmers — a critical constituency for President Trump in the 2020 presidential election — are feeling the squeeze from China’s retaliatory tariffs, extreme weather and record-high farm debt that's driving farm bankruptcies.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

U.S. farmers could really use some help

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors have been basking in the glow of the "phase one" trade deal between the U.S. and China, but farmers, who are supposed to be the main beneficiaries of the agreement, have reason to be wary, experts say.

What's happening: U.S. farmers have been suffering this year. Chapter 12 bankruptcies have risen 24% over the previous year, and farm debt is projected to hit a record high $416 billion.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

Rain and snow take toll on farmers in grain belt

Photo: Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The northern grain belt states are dealing with high rainfall and a snowstorm, delaying their harvest, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota have been hit the hardest by the U.S.-China trade war because they rely on exports to Asia, according to Reuters. Those states are seeing some of the worst delays in corn and soybean harvests.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019