Farmer angst spread to Pro Farmer’s Midwest Crop Tour Wednesday. The Department of Agriculture pulled all personnel from the tour after an angry farmer allegedly threatened a USDA employee over the phone. Pro Farmer says the threat reported on the western leg of the tour was not from a tour scout or farmer that attended a crop tour meeting. The threat was reported to local authorities, and Pro Farmer announced additional security measures for the remainder of the event. Officials did not announce the nature of the threat, or who was threatened. Federal Protective Services are investigating the incident.
Compounding stress in farm country continues to grow as farmers face depressed prices, trade issues and a challenging growing season, along with farmers questioning USDA data. Pro Farmer recognized that “it’s clearly a stressful time right now,” but that stress does not justify making threats to federal employees, or anyone on crop tour. The tour concludes Thursday night in Rochester, Minnesota, and final estimates will be released Friday.