The 1980’s farm crisis
A time of tragedy a crisis that had a tremendous human cost. Many all
over remember this and how they were affected. Even child abuse and
neglect rose 10% and an alarming rise in divorce rates and alcohol
during this time. It’s a time people try to not look back on but, no one
will forget. The early 1970’s people not just from Iowa but, people all
over the United States were affected.
Lowered trade barriers coupled with recorded soviet purchases.
American grain resulted a sharp increase in agriculture exports. It was
one of the hardest times, farm incomes and commodity prices soared
from 8% to 18% which left some people helpless. Farmers weren’t
making any money low interest rates and profits from other farms to
pay for theirs made many farmers go deeply in debt on the assumption
that commodity prices and land values dropped by nearly 60%.
Those whose incomes ranged from $40,000 to$500,000 a year
had increased by 250% by the 1980’s they were hit the hardest by the
debt crisis. The small farmers getting under $40,000 a year were
deriving much of their income from nonfarm employment, had not
incurred large debts. While large farmers were financially able to
weather hard times they watched profits decline 36%. By early 1984
farm indebtness had risen to $215 billion, double what it had been in
the 70s and fifteen times the 1950s level. More than one-third of
Americans commercial farmers were in serious trouble, for the first
time in history. The total of interest payments on farm loans exceeded
total net farm income. Farm enclosures rose dramatically negatively
impacting the selling of farm machinery, seed, and fertilizer. Harshly,
some lost a lot of stuff while others lost everything they had and
caused them to move in to town. More and more farmers were forced
out of business and small towns like Buffalo Center’s main street’s
businesses were hurt too because farmers had no extra money to
spend. When businesses don’t have people buying from them they
can’t make money for them selves which caused a lot of stores on Main
Street to close like John Deere and jensvolds.
It took a while for everything to go back to normal again. It
took time for things to resolve it’s self. Now, we are living in
one of the wealthiest times ever. People say soon it could be
possible that another horrible farm crisis could happen.