Shoebat.com has written before about the economic troubles facing American farmers. Amid mounting debts, lowering returns on pay, very long hours, and tremendous stress, the American farmer’s life is anything buy idyllic, and many are becoming desperate and turning to self-destructive behaviors, including killing themselves, amid pressures they feel they cannot relieve as one story from USA Today notes.
But U.S. farmers are saddled with near-record debt, declaring bankruptcy at rising rates and selling off their farms amid an uncertain future clouded by climate change and whipsawed by tariffs and bailouts.
For some, the burden is too much.
Farmers are among the most likely to die by suicide, compared with other occupations, according to a January study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also found that suicide rates overall had increased by 40% in less than two decades.
The problem has plagued agricultural communities across the nation, but perhaps nowhere more so than the Midwest, where extreme weather and falling prices have bludgeoned dairy and crop producers in recent years.
More than 450 farmers killed themselves across nine Midwestern states from 2014 to 2018, according to data collected by the USA TODAY Network and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. The real total is likely to be higher because not every state provided suicide data for every year and some redacted portions of the data. (source)
This is very unfortunate to happen, but because the economy is not getting better and things are becoming more difficult, one may reasonably expect to see more of such things in the future.
One bloc to watch for suicide will be the women, for as many of them do not have children, there likely will be many who simply choose to destroy themselves as they will not believe they have a purpose for living any more and will not want to bear the pain of past decisions.
Suicide is not a solution, but it only makes problems worse. Unfortunately, there are enough who may choose this route.