Farmers across Missouri are worried that an ongoing trade war between the United States and China will continue to hurt their operations into the 2019 growing season. The retaliatory tariffs placed on American soybeans and other agricultural products by the Chinese government last year show no sign of being lifted before farmers begin planting their crops.
At a summit hosted by the National Corn Growers Association in Chesterfield last week, multiple farmers said trade was among their top concerns — if not the biggest.
Without China, traditionally the top export market for U.S. soybeans, prices of soybeans have dropped. The USDA earmarked $9.5 billion in federal aid to be given to farmers affected by tariffs, but the federal government shutdown has delayed payments.
Additionally, although a revised trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico was announced months ago, the deal has not yet been ratified by Congress. That’s another source of concern for Missouri growers. Mexico is the top export market for U.S. corn, and Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, called the pending trade deal “our biggest legislative battle.”
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch