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Farmers Union Warns Of Downturn

Matthias Ripp, flickr Creative Commons

One of the nation’s largest farm groups is warning of a downturn in the rural economy. Harvest Public Media’s Jeremy Bernfeld has more.

Prices for the Midwest’s top commodities like corn and soybeans have been sliding, and forecasts for farm profits are weak.

“What that means is that farmers are going to be facing a lot of financial stress," says National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. "Loans are going to be in jeopardy. Farmers may not get operating loans, they may not be able to repay operating loans from this year."

Beginning farmers--and farmers with lots of debt--are particularly vulnerable to a downswing.

The Farmers Union wants the Agriculture Department to prepare for an influx of farmers in need of loans and more farmers looking for debt relief.