US agriculture was not well positioned to suffer a federal government shutdown in December and January. In an era of low commodity prices, many farms cannot afford trade-war shenanigans and cannot afford government shutdowns. Across the US, median farm income for 2018 was -$1,548 (yes, a negative $1,548), a fifteen-year low, despite record farm productivity. That data includes, of course, not only large corporate farms but also small farms where producers rely on off-farm jobs to make ends meet.
To top off the twin challenges of low prices and foreign markets evaporated by the