KEY POINTS

  • 83% of American farmers support Trump, said a poll by the magazine, Farm Journal
  • The text poll was taken after the signing of the phase one trade deal with China on January 15
  • U.S. farm bankruptcies jumped 24 percent in 2019

U.S. farmers are showing huge support for president Donald Trump as new polls reveal his highest approval rating yet among the group. As he's done in the past, president Donald Trump is expected to tweet about this achievement.

The good news for Trump is an impromptu text message poll conducted by the 142 year-old magazine, Farm Journal, shows 83 percent of farmers and ranchers approve of his job performance. Farm Journal said this is the highest level of support for Trump among farmers since he took office.

One Farm Journal poll taken in June 2019 revealed a 74 percent approval rating of Trump among farmers. Because of this, Trump tweeted, "The highly respected Farm Journal has just announced my Approval Rating with our great Farmers at 74%, and that despite all of the Fake & Corrupt News that they are forced to endure. Farmers have been unfairly treated for many years - and that is turning around FAST!”

Federal data shows U.S. farm bankruptcies jumped 24 percent in 2019. More ominously, farm debt is on target to hit a record $416 billion in 2019.

The boost in farmer support this time follows the signing of the interim phase one trade agreement in Washington on January 15. Massive purchases by China of U.S. farm produce is critical to the recovery of American farmers hit hard by the trade war with China.

Phase one has China agreeing to buy $12.5 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods in 2020 and $19.5 billion in 2021. China also said it will purchase $32.9 billion in manufactured goods in 2020 and $44.8 billion in 2021.

“We have heard repeatedly from farmers that they believe in the end of the trade fight with China,” said John Herath, news director at Farm Journal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In exchange for these Chinese trade concessions, Trump agreed to ease some of the tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. In December 2019, the Trump administration said it won't impose tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese imports as part of the phase one agreement.

It also cut tariffs on another $112 billion worth of goods from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. Steep 25 percent tariffs remain in place on much of what the U.S. buys from China, however.

US soybeans like these being harvested in the state of Maryland are among products hit by Chinese tariffs US soybeans like these being harvested in the state of Maryland are among products hit by Chinese tariffs Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MARK WILSON

China was the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans and a major buyer of other U.S. produce before Trump launched his trade war in March 2019. Analysts said the upbeat mood among U.S. farmers is also being stoked by the U.S. Senate passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on January 16.

The latest Farm Journal poll was based on 1,286 responses from 5,000 ranchers and farmers asked via text to give their opinion. Respondents were mostly located in the Midwest Corn Belt States like Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Nebraska.