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Area farmers concerned about looming trade war

It's another blow, soybean farmers in particular, would have to suffer while hurting our economy.

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 9:35 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 10:20 PM

DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - A potential trade war with China is beginning to worry some farmers here in northeast Indiana.

It's another blow, soybean farmers in particular, would have to suffer while hurting our economy.

"Our concern is they will come back and say 'You did this, now we don't want your soybeans, or we want to put a tariff on your soybeans,'" said Sarah Delbecq, owner of Brechbill Farms in DeKalb County.

China has threatened tariffs on exports of agriculture products, from wine to soybeans, in response to the Trump Administration's trade policies.

China is the number one buyer of Indiana-grown soybeans.

"There's always concern when there is talk of a market going away," said Delbecq.

Area farmers typically rotate their fields between corn and soybeans and not just for farming reasons.

"Nobody is going to plant all one crop and not the other. You try to spread your risk to the extent that you can," she said.

Soybean prices have dropped significantly since the 2012 drought.

Now supplies are increasing.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers plan to plant more beans than corn, but that's the first time in 35 years.

But that's just a prediction.

"We all know the best laid plans don't always come to fruition, and farming is no exception. What will happen is we'll see what the spring brings. We'll see what the weather is like," said Delbecq.

Indiana produced $4 million worth of soybeans last year.

However, new tariffs from China could drop that price by 20 percent.

"That will kind of trickle down to local farms, it will trickle down to agribusiness, it will trickle down to local communities," said Delbecq.

Right now there are too many unknowns to know exactly how the farming season will go this year.

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