To paraphrase one local farmer: “It’s as if we’re farming for fun.”
That’s what one Plainfield farmer told KWWL today. Soybean farmers in Northeast Iowa say they’re struggling to make money, as the U.S. and China struggle over a trade agreement.
Cedar Falls farmer Jim Fitkin says this year, he’s planting 20 percent fewer soybeans than he’d normally plant. He says a big reason why is soybean prices are dropping as the trade war between China and the U.S. continues.
“China was our main customer for soybeans and they’re not buying, and that’s changed the price. I have a couple fields I planned on planting as soybeans, and I planted them as corn instead,” he says.
Changing his normal crop rotation…
“I try to have a two years planting corn, one year soybean rotation, and I disrupted that this year because there’s no money in planting beans; there’s a little more money in planting corn.”
KWWL also spoke with a farmer in Plainfield. Farmer Rick Juckems says he’s keeping his normal routine, but he is nervous.
“It’s actually costing you money to grow crops and you can’t make it back right now at these prices, so we’re just farming for fun,” he says.
Juckems also talked about trying to get other countries to buy more soybeans from Iowa.
Most recently, President Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing retaliated two days ago, and they raised tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. items.