American farmers suffering under trade war and record rainfall

Many U.S. farmers are seeing their livelihoods hurt, due to the combination of trade disputes with countries like China and recent record rainfalls.

Illinois farmer Dave Kestle on Tuesday planted the last of his corn crop on his 1,000 acre farm, and he just started planting his soybeans. That’s unusual: Kestle planted both crops about six weeks after his target date — because his farm, like so many others, had been waterlogged by record rainfall. 

“We fought rain and mother nature all the time,” he said, “and mother nature is the boss.”

Last month, the U.S. suffered its second rainiest month on record. Much of that rain fell in midwestern states, like Illinois and Iowa, at the height of planting season.

That rain, and the subsequent hardening of the soil on sunny days, has stunted his corn crop. At this point in the season, Kestle said, he’d need “picture perfect” conditions to get “even two-thirds” of a yield.

“What do you think the odds are of having a perfect balance of sun and rain?” asked CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds.

“Let’s just go to Vegas instead, I think your odds are better” Kestle responded.  

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