As Indiana farmers head to the voting booth, their attitudes on some key ag issues have changed. This summer, falling crop prices and rising trade tensions had many farmers angry and anxious. Yet with a successful harvest and good yields, Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron says farmers are feeling more optimistic.
A national survey indicated that farmers still support President Trump despite the impact his trade policy has had on their pocketbooks. Kron told HAT that, over the past few months, Indiana farmers have resigned themselves to the fact that this trade battle with China is going to take a long time to get resolved.
“They have moved from the mindset that China is a short term issue to the acceptance that it is going to take months or even years to get the problem fixed.”
Trade was the top issue on the minds of farmers this summer, but now that has changed. Kron says lack of progress on a new Farm Bill is now more concerning than trade.
“Trade was the hot issue, but now I think getting a new Farm Bill is equally important.” He added that the inability to pass a new Farm Bill will be an important top of mind issue as farmers vote this month. “We have got to have some certainty in farm programs and get this Farm Bill wrapped up.”
This could result in farmer support for Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, a member of the Senate Ag Committee who has played a leadership role in crafting the new Farm Bill and calling for a bipartisan compromise to get the bill passed. His challenger Mike Braun has not made the Farm Bill a notable part of his campaign.
The key to getting the Farm Bill resolved is getting compromise on the nutrition title. Kron says that hinges on what happens on election day. “The election is going to be the answer to this and determine how we move forward.”
The Indiana Senate race will play a key part in that outcome.