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Outside the Box: This rancher says the Fed should take it easy

Jason and Ashley Frerichs

The Fed raised interest rates today and is expected to do so at least twice more this year. There’s a lot of talk about how this is necessary to offset fiscal stimulus from the tax bill and to prevent unemployment from falling too low.

What doesn’t get as much attention is the direct, harmful impact interest rate increases will have on active farmers and ranchers. Farm income has fallen along with commodity prices. Combined with expensive inputs, including essential seed genetics, record land cash rents, and large debt loads, rising debt service costs will hammer farmers like myself.

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