HENRY COUNTY, Ill./CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat came over the phone from an angry farmer.
Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated over unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions.
Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and other USDA staffers left the privately-run Pro Farmer tour and police will be present on upcoming stops of the trip, which ends on Thursday, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.
“A USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service employee received a threat while on the ProFarmer Crop Tour from someone not involved with the tour,” Hubert Hamer, administrator of the statistics service, said…
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