Oftentimes we are reminded of the burden farmers bear, as a result of the trade war.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently unveiled a federal aid package, designed for producers directly impacted by recent tariffs. However, America’s soy farmers are asking for more assistance.
AUDIO: Morey Hill, Iowa farmer and American Soybean Association director
American Soybean Association (ASA) grower leaders recently spoke to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials and Congressional delegates in Washington, D.C. Soy farmers stressed the need for long-term solutions to the trade war. ASA director and Iowa row crop farmer Morey Hill talks about legislative measures which would help soybean producers overcome the trade war.
“We would like to encourage all trade agreements (to) be finalized. NAFTA needs to get finished up,” Hill said. “The President has talked about other bilateral trade agreements; we’d like to see some movement on them. We have other countries that buy meal or soybeans from us; we’d like to see that expanded. And, we’d like Congress to get the farm bill done before the end of September.”
However, Hill says it all comes down to one element, market stability. He talks about how the disruption is influencing producers’ bottom lines and future marketing decisions.
“The trade war, with the tariff dispute with China, has upset the market for everyone in general. It’s made it difficult for anybody that hasn’t priced beans for later or for new crop, to figure out which way to go to try to make a profit,” Hill said.
“Reports show that (in) mid-May, our beans were selling at the almost-ten dollar range. After the first of June, when the tariffs were announced, beans started to steadily declined and we’ve lost two-dollars off our cash bean market. That impacts my and other farmer’s bottomline. The only thing we can do is maybe look at alternatives, or try to come up with a different business approach. We might have to grow more corn, I don’t know,” Hill said.
Hill spoke about the optimism American soybean farmers had, with regards to mending trade tensions by fall. He highlights the importance of “knowing what to do” with the United States soybean crop by adding one-third of the soybeans produced in the United States are shipped to China.
“Everybody I’ve talked to within the soybean family is hopeful that things will get resolved before this fall,” Hill said. “But not being privy to what goes on behind closed doors, we don’t know for sure. We need to know that we have markets. The EU deal helped us last week, but we know that’s just one little cog in the whole wheel.”