More than 2,000 farmers from across the U.S. and Canada shared concerns at a recent Nebraska convention about low crop prices in the wake of President Donald Trump’s trade dispute with China.
Farmers met this week in Omaha for an annual convention hosted by Farmers Business Network.
Many discussed how to recover lost income from China largely closing its dominant soybean export market in response to Trump’s trade tariffs.
Exports to China are down 94 percent from a year ago after Chinese companies were ordered to stop buying American soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmers are selling soybeans for prices between 15 percent and 25 percent less than before the trade dispute. Many are paying to store soybeans to manage a potentially 1 billion-bushel surplus until the crop can be sold at a decent price.
The trade dispute has cost farmers just in Nebraska more than $1 billion, a Nebraska Farm Bureau report stated.
Charles Baron, co-founder of the Farmers Business Network, said corn growers are concerned that soybean farmers might shift more acreage to corn next year, which would drive down prices.
Brian Brown, who farms corn and soybeans with his son near Central City, attended the convention. He said farmers want more access to China’s market.
“If the economy doesn’t change in our favor soon, there’s going to be a lot of people going out of business,” Brown said.