American Farmers Are Killing Themselves At An Unprecedented Rate

Suicide is exploding in America - and the increase isn't confined to celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Suicide rates have risen by an astonishing 30% since 1999, with suicidal people citing relationship stress, financial difficulties and other issues as the underlying cause.

But suicide rates have increased for some professions more than others. According to CBS, farmers are facing the highest suicide rate of any profession in the US. The suicide rate for people in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people - more than five times that of the broader population. And with retaliatory tariffs from China and the European Union set to further undermine US crop prices, a bad situation could be about to get worse. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, making the loans on which farmers depend increasingly expensive. 

Agriculture

The study comes with a few caveats: For one, it leaves out Iowa, a major agricultural state. And while farmers make up the bulk of the workers in their subgroup, they do share the designation with a small number of workers from related occupational groups, like fishing and forestry. But the figures largely jive with other recent studies. For example, suicide rates are highest in rural areas - where the bulk of farming is done.

One source said today's crisis of suicide might be worse than a similar wave that gripped the American heartland in the 1980s. 

"The farm crisis was so bad, there was a terrible outbreak of suicide and depression," said Jennifer Fahy, communications director with Farm Aid, a group founded in 1985 that advocates for farmers. Today, she said, "I think it's actually worse."

"We're hearing from farmers on our hotline that farmer stress is extremely high," Fahy said. "Every time there's more uncertainty around issues around the farm economy is another day of phones ringing off the hook."

Finances are probably the most pressing reason: Since 2013, farm income has been declining steadily according to the US Department of Agriculture. This year, the average farm is expected to earn 35% less than what it earned in 2013.

"Think about trying to live today on the income you had 15 years ago." That's how agriculture expert Chris Hurt describes the plight facing U.S. farmers today.

Farmers are at the mercy of extreme weather like hurricanes that threaten crops to agricultural commodity prices that have fallen below breakeven production levels. And prices will likely only continue to fall as America's trading partners slap tariffs on American agricultural products.

Of course, farmers aren't the only American professionals feeling squeezed. In New York City, local press has focused on a wave of cab driver suicides in recent months which have been largely blamed on the rise of ride-sharing apps, which have devalued cab drivers' medallions. Over the last five months, more than five New York City cabbies had committed suicide, blaming Uber for their financial troubles.

Comments

FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:05 Permalink

"Farmers" is a pretty broad brush..how about a little more detail.

 

From what I see, "Farmers" are sitting pretty....~$60k trucks are bought with personal checks...roads are full of them with rural county plates.

 

CBS again with their "data". That poll with the slight majority supporting Trump on deportations...look at the internals...Obvious Democrat and Female skew to the "sample"...and they still couldn't make it look like "everyone" is against Trump...I'm surprised they didn't rig the poll even further; still hurting from that Hillary "polling" disaster I assume.

I dug through those internals:

1. The Democrats don't support Trump.

2. The Republicans support Trump.

3. The Independents support Trump...and THAT is what matters...Trump will NEVER get 43% of the voters because they are D cult members...he doesn't need them...he just needs 60% of those that call themselves "Independents"...and he's got them.

If you balance out the poll, even D's, R's, Male/Female...you're looking at ~57% supporting Trumps immigration stance.

FreddieX ZENDOG Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

It hasn't gotten better:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2009/02/12/the-largest-wave-of-suicides-in…

The Largest Wave of Suicides in History

The number of farmers who have committed suicide in India between 1997 and 2007 now stands at a staggering 182,936.

=============

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/18/dangerous-liaison-industrial-ag…

[he[is referring to the 300,000-plus farmer suicides that have taken place in India over the past two decades due to economic distress resulting from debt, a shift to (GM)cash crops and economic ‘liberalisation’ (see this report about a peer-reviewed study, which directly links suicides to GM cotton).

=============

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/new-evidence-of-suicide-epidemic-am…

Farmers at highest risk have three characteristics: those that grow cash crops such as coffee and cotton; those with ‘marginal’ farms of less than one hectare; and those with debts of 300 Rupees or more. Indian states in which these characteristics are most prevalent had the highest suicide rates. In fact, these characteristics account for almost 75% of the variability in state-level suicides.

===============

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/18/farm-a18.html

US farm fatalities: An unpublicized epidemic

Hundreds of agricultural workers, including many child laborers, die in farming accidents across the US each year. With an official workplace fatality rate of more than 21 per 100,000, farming is the most dangerous occupation in America. It is also among the lowest paid and least regulated.

Every day, at least 167 farm workers suffer a lost-work-time injury according to data compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in every twenty of these daily accidents is so severe that permanent impairment results.

In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, some 14,000 children were injured on American farms. On average over the past few decades, 113 youth have died each year from farming-related injuries.

In reply to by ZENDOG

ZENDOG FreddieX Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:19 Permalink

India has 1.32 Billion,,,,yes Billion people.

That's what is staggering....Fuck that.

In the US, almost 10,000 children 20 years old and under are killed in car crashes each year.

Over 2 million are injured....

Too many people on the Planet anyway.

Always another warm body to fill the gap when someone goes Kate Spade....

In reply to by FreddieX

brianshell DownWithYogaPants Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:47 Permalink

A revolution in agriculture is one of the three pillars of our better future.

A growing wave of farmers and ranchers have started no-till cover crop agriculture.

The results are amazing. Even small farmers can survive bad weather events usng no-till cover crop methods.

After tuning the mix for your land and climate, you can increase carbon organic mass which absorbs amazing amount of rain without runoff. The biomass reduces the need for fertilizer and insecticide.

State banks modeled after North Dakota's bank is also important to sustain farmers with low interest capital.

Everyone should have state banks.

How about it, President Trump?

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

FreddieX MozartIII Tue, 06/26/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

https://linhdinhphotos.blogspot.com/2015/08/postcard-from-end-of-americ…

"
Heavy lifting for me started at the age of 10. During the winter Dad kept the cattle’s access to the water trough penned off. That was so that they wouldn’t get hurt in the frozen muck around it (that’s what you have kids for) so that meant we had to water them at night when we got home from school (Dad worked swing shift at ALCOA). At that age I only weighed about 70lbs. A 5 gallon bucket of water is about 40lbs so that meant that each trip I was carrying about my body weight to the barn through about 12"-16" of a mixture of slush/mud/cowsh*t that wanted to pull your boot off with each step. Dad always kept around 100 head of cattle, that’s a lot of thirsty animals when they’ve gone all day without water. Since my brother was the ‘chosen twin,’ you can imagine who pretty well always made the most trips.
"

In reply to by MozartIII

Peterman333 FreddieX Tue, 06/26/2018 - 21:55 Permalink

At that age I was carying around 40lb golf bags for the old wasps like Mrs. Nesbitt. Hard work, builds character in kids. In those days (early 80's) that prestigious country club barely tolerated Catholics, had no jewish members and only one black member (mayor of City of Detroit at that time). It was basically Bushwood.

In reply to by FreddieX

teharr MozartIII Tue, 06/26/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

Maybe, of course the article does not point out which farmers are killing themselves.  It might be the family farm owners as you mention, but it also might be the farmers that have been growing round up laced, GMO poison, and they are unable to handle that they have knowingly and wittingly poisoned or killed millions and millions of people, especially the children?  How can any human live with that kind of guilt? 

Poisoning your fellow man, whether it be growing the poison, feeding it to livestock, or adding it to either, is pure evil, and promises a very cold and empty future for the family venture and their children.

I agree though, if these family ventures are growing real, healthy food, and losing their farms to bankers, and killing themselves, that sucks!

In reply to by MozartIII

KKAOSS teharr Tue, 06/26/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

all speculation, site your sources - you got no credible VERIFIABLE SOURCES - ALL HEARSAY !  you watch too many conspiracy youtube channels son!  

Hey, next thing you gonna tell me is that they ain't committing suicide - they are CRISIS ACTORS - and they are really alive and collecting life insurance huh!?

LMAO - ya jerk!

In reply to by teharr

teharr KKAOSS Thu, 06/28/2018 - 11:30 Permalink

Hey retard, do you have reading comprehension problems?  I did not say that is who is committing suicide, what I said was that the article did not point out which farmers were committing suicide and laid it out as a possible scenario, just as possible as the family farmer being put under by bankers.

Are you saying it is a conspiracy theory that our farmers might be growing GMO food?  The rest of the blather you said, not me.  Crisis Actors?  LMAO. ya retard.

In reply to by KKAOSS

mophead MozartIII Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:33 Permalink

They are being taken out by the uncle sam and then handed over to the corporations for consolidation. Corporations are taxed at higher marginal tax rates, if not directly, indirectly (through shareholder income). That is one huge incentive. The other, of course, is that it's easier to price fix when there are fewer competitors (a multopoly). This has been going on since at least the 60s. 

In reply to by MozartIII

Ness. MozartIII Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:40 Permalink

Family farms are not being "taken" out. They are being sold. Big difference.

While I don't like the corporate takeover of the family farm in the States, it takes two to tango. I can tell many posting comments here have never stepped on a farm, let alone 'cut corn outta beans'. If you don't get that reference there you might not be a redneck. It made me the person I am today and I couldn't be more thankful that my Grandfather had the courage and will to do whatever it took to provide an opportunity for his Family. His goal was that everyone in his Family get a college education and learn to work smart, not hard. Unlike himself. Selfless. We need more of that these days. 

Here's a different take on this. 

We recently sold the farm (much to my dismay). I could never imagine NOT having the farm. But a conversation with my now 101 year old Grandma (Hi Helen) changed my mind. She said when your Grandpa and I got married and started having kids we promised each other that we'd commit to providing a better life for our kids than we had. She reminded me that they had no running water, took a horse to school (all ages in one room) and had to carry a stick to the out-house to piss so she could scare the snakes before she sat down. No TV, phones, computer, internet  (obliviously), etc... all unimaginable to us these days.

So they canned their own veggies. Hunted the land for food. Raised chickens, goats, cows. All to give their Family a better life. Imagine having the courage and determination to take that chance in the face of probable poverty and failure.

Now the good part. If you get to be 101 (my Grandma) years old you see a LOT of shit. You gain perspective. When I asked her what she what makes her happy these days... she said all of my grand kids and great grand kids went to college. Your Grandpa would be so proud. It was all worth it. Work smart, not hard.

Pops bought the land for $68/acre... sold it for $12,000/acre. Not bad for an uneducated man.

 

 

The reason the US farmer is getting 'taken out' is because running a farm is hard fucking work and you don't get a trophy for trying.

In reply to by MozartIII

mophead FreddieX Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:26 Permalink

"Finances are probably the most pressing reason: Since 2013, farm income has been declining steadily according to the US Department of Agriculture. This year, the average farm is expected to earn 35% less than what it earned in 2013."

All thanks to the regulatory and inflationary policies of both weather modification deniers: libtards and cuckservatives 

In reply to by FreddieX