A trade war and potential tariffs were hot topics to concerned growers at Wednesday's quarterly meeting of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association in Mankato.
China has announced a 25-percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. That lead to an almost 40-cent drop in the price of soybeans overnight. Local growers say this affects them as well as the local economy as a whole.
"At 40 cents less value, that's 152 million dollars just instantly evaporated out of the Minnesota farm economy," says Minnesota Soybean Growers Association President Michael Petefish, "And there's 27,000 soybean farmers in the state of Minnesota. That's approximately a $14,000 loss for each family farm. And so when you look at already tight farming margins and a lot of concern in rural America about the ability to stay on the landscape and provide for their families, this is just another blow."
China imported almost 14-billion-dollars of U.S. soybeans last year, almost 60 percent of the total U.S. exports. Local growers say such trade is important.
"I was actually just in China," explains Darin Johnson, MSG Board Director, "And the discussion that we had with a lot of the crushers and buyers is they want to be able to work bilateral agreements out. We both need each other. We need them to buy our beans and they need to buy our beans."
Information from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association shows U.S. soybean farmers lost over a billion dollars in value for the crop this morning alone when soybeans dropped 40 cents per bushel.
The 2018 crop is projected to be a little more than four billion bushels.