With grain elevators full and demand for soybeans depressed by the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, American farmers are facing the question of what to do with crops as they finish harvesting.
The answer for many: let them rot.
Across the country, farmers are plowing under crops, letting them rot or piling them up without protection from the elements, Reuters reports.
American growers planted 89.1 million acres of soybeans this year, the second-largest total ever.
But China’s 25 percent counter-tariff on U.S. soybeans has caused demand from the valuable export market to basically evaporate. In previous years, China has bought about 60 percent of U.S. soybeans.
That has led to a storage crunch that has boosted revenues for companies that specialize in equipment that helps farmers store their grain.
But for the farmers themselves, it’s a tough blow that has them looking to next year.