Arkansas soybean farmers worried over U.S.-China trade war

Arkansas farmers concerned over falling prices of soybeans (Photo: MGN)

An escalating trade war between the U.S. and China isn’t faring well for Arkansas soybean farmers who have their eyes fixed on the markets.

Arkansas’ top crop remains in the crosshairs of China.

Soybeans in the Natural State have a value of $1.74 billion, according to National Agricultural Statistics (NASS).

The price for a bushel of soybeans traded at $8.53 on Monday, said Bob Stark, University of Arkansas agriculture economist Bob Stark, as reported in Talk Business and Politics.

Stark added that’s a $1.20 drop from contract prices in November to December 2017.

A.J. Hood, board president of the Arkansas Soybean Association, manages soybean crops in Tillar, Ark.

His family’s been in the agriculture business for generations.

“It affects not only the grower but it affects our community,” Hood said. Now, we’re already planted so we’re going to have to take what we can this year and hope for the best.”

In June, China slapped 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of American imports including soybeans.

This action was in response to the White House imposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday the intent to impose 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion conglomerate of products.

Hood has a message for lawmakers and the White House.

“We need the help, we need their support, we need them to see that agriculture is a major part of Arkansas’ economy, the national economy, not just Arkansas. But we want them to see that it does affect the lives, the livelihoods of farmers here in Arkansas,” Hood said.

The American Soybean Association has released a statement urging Washington to find a way to reduce the China trade deficit that doesn’t involve levying tariffs.

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