Even with all the uneasiness around trade, the government shutdown that led to federal ag offices being closed and the dairy farmers’ continued struggles, President Donald Trump is still enjoying solid support among farmers, or at least the ones polled at New York Farm Show.
American Agriculturist polled more than 80 show visitors on whether they still had confidence in the job he was doing. The poll showed 65% approved of Trump while 23% disapproved and 11% were not sure.
That’s much higher than Trump’s overall approval rating. According to the Real Clear Politics average of nine polls from Jan. 30 to Feb. 26, Trump’s approval rating is 43.9% while his disapproval rating is 52.7%.
The New York Farm Show Poll also gauged farmers’ opinions on whether last year’s soggy summer weather reduced crop yields. It showed 58% said the wet weather reduced crop yields while 28% said no and 13% said they were unsure. Not surprisingly, most respondents said hay was the crop that suffered the most from the rains last season. Other crops reported with lower yields were corn, fruits and vegetables, pumpkins, and even strawberries.
When it comes to taxes and whether tax reform passed in late 2017 has benefited their farms, only 14% said “yes” while 22% said “no.” The majority, 64%, said they were not sure. Sounds like most people have yet to file their 2019 taxes.
Plans for 2019
We also asked farmers to share what their goals were for 2019. Most said they just wanted to break even or make a profit, but some shared more interesting insights.
Tim and Becky Fowler of Hannibal, N.Y., said they want to open a milking plant this year.
Gary Fisher of Trumansburg, N.Y., said he wants to economically recover from the wet 2018 growing season.
Lavern Wise of Waterloo, N.Y., wants to become more productive in 2019 by growing more crops on the same acreage.
Michael Lausell of Burdett, N.Y., said he wants to market his increased production of beef.
Other farmers have more modest goals. For Carol Watkins of Winfield, N.Y., she just wants “to live through it.” Amy Jones of Macedon, N.Y., wants to establish a farm business plan.
Kyle Spry of Geneseo, N.Y., said he wants to “raise the pigs and chickens for my wedding.”
Logan Ennis of Appleton, N.Y., has one goal for 2019: expand.
And the winner is…
Richard Becker of Mohawk, N.Y., won the American Agriculturist Big Ticket Contest. His name was pulled from the more than 90 entrants. Becker is the winner of a $350 gift card from Tractor Supply Co.