Trade

Here’s a Terrible Idea

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Although soybeans from last year's harvest will still be sitting in storage when the next harvest season begins, Reuters reports that American farmers are still betting on the crops they cannot sell because of Trump's trade war with China.

China purchased up to 60 percent of all American-grown soybeans before Trump launched his trade war and Chinese importers have not resumed purchases, but farmers say they're still betting on the beans with a near-record crop.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. farmers are gearing up to plant what could be their third-largest soybean crop ever despite failing to sell a mountain of beans from their last harvest due to a U.S.-China trade war that remains unresolved. [...]

As winter ends and farmers begin planting, they will continue to plant soy despite uncertainty over whether they will be able to sell beans to China later this year. There are simply no better options, farmers say.

“It is tough to rotate out of soybeans because what else are you going to plant?” said Darin Anderson, a 41-year-old farmer from Valley City, North Dakota.

One alternative, sorghum, was also dragged into the trade war.

Now that we know Trump won't meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping until late next month if ever does, I think we can presume that we'll be well into the growing season before a trade deal is hashed out if one ever is. And even if a deal is signed in the near future, it may not hit the books immediately or even this year.

I believe we'll be referring back to this story in the coming months and even during the presidential campaign season because this is a disaster waiting to happen. This could be an even worse year for farmers than last year was if Trump continues to sputter.

  • Christopher Foxx

    this is a disaster waiting to happen. This could be an even worse year for farmers than last year was if Trump continues to sputter.

    Shame the Democrats won’t take advantage of this gift.

  • mnpollio

    And again, because this can never be said enough, I have zero sympathy for these farmers as they skip down the path to their ruin. These people voted for Trump largely in support of his hate and xenophobia (among other things) and held their nose amidst his lies. As those lies have been dramatically exposed one right after the other and their personal finances have started a steep downward spiral, these same people still fervently support this man who is orchestrating their financial ruin, because propping up a dictator that hates the same people you do is more important than your future. So…they can embrace the dismal future they have repeatedly chosen.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I have zero sympathy for these farmers as they skip down the path to their ruin.

      I’m sure Trump didn’t get 100% of the farmer vote. And for that fraction that didn’t, they do have my sympathy. But the rest? The majority that did vote for him? It’s a shame that their going under will cost the rest of us but still, fuck ’em. They’re getting very much what they deserve.

  • Draxiar

    “…what else are you going to plant?” I may be speaking out of my ass on this because I’m not a big agro farmer but how about something that isn’t soybeans that can be sold? There’s hundreds of other things that came be grown in soil…I’ve seen them.

  • muselet

    This could be an even worse year for farmers than last year was if Trump continues to sputter.

    Yes, but Archer Daniels Midland stands to do extremely well, how low the price of soybeans will probably be.

    Big companies are the economy, right?

    –alopecia