Advertisement – story continues below

Farmers have one of the most essential jobs in the world, but in the US, they have been all but forgotten. For years, crop and animal produce prices have plummeted, hurting American farmers and making it impossible for them to compete.

This in turn means that wages for farmers have also been dropping drastically. For the last four years, farmers’ incomes have been declining and are expected to go down even further.

This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that farmers’ incomes will be just one half of what they were in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported. Unfortunately, cost of living has not gone down and there is little aid for farmers who are affected.

Advertisement – story continues below

Meanwhile, farmers need to continue to buy expensive machinery, on an ever-decreasing income. This has lead many to take out loans and to acquire debt.

Luckily, one company that relies on farmers for their business has been extending a hand: John Deere. The company is the largest producer of tractors and harvesting machines in the world.

Now, they’re also one of the biggest lenders for farmers, only behind banks. However, they don’t just lend money.

Advertisement – story continues below

John Deere has also began to lease their equipment. Leasing makes it easier for farmers to maintain the newest machinery in order to increase their production.

The company also provides short-term credit for supplies such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. The hope is to help American farmers stay in business despite the failing agricultural market.

The programs are well-intentioned, but some critics say they simply prolong the suffering of struggling farmers. “You’re just prolonging the agony and potentially building up [farm] losses instead of cutting the pain, cauterizing the wound, and stanching the flow of financial blood now,” Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, told the Wall Street Journal.

Advertisement – story continues below

On the other hand, if the market improves and crop prices begin to rise again, the programs would have done a lot of good. John Deere would have helped farmers when they needed the support and gained a lot of loyal customers.

The company trusts that there will be better times ahead. “It’s a cyclical industry,” said Jayma Sandquist, vice president of marketing for the U.S. and Canada for John Deere Financial.

“We’ve built a business that we can manage effectively across all cycles, and our performance would indicate we can do that.” Hopefully, their influence is able to get people through the slump.

Wondering where the comments are? We encourage you to use the share buttons below and start the conversation on your own!

EquipmentLeasing – BingNews