July 31, 2018/Press Release

ICYMI: Herald-Whig: Farmers concerned about trade war, prefer markets to support payments

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri farmers are continuing to express serious reservations this week about the Trump administration’s $12 billion aid package for those who are losing their livelihoods to the President’s trade war. As Adams County Farm Bureau President Rick Edwards told the Herald-Whig, “farmers want trade, not aid.” According to a recent analysis from the University of Missouri’s Commercial Agriculture Program, this summer’s $2 drop in soybeans price will result in nearly a half billion dollars in lost revenue for Missouri farmers.

Even as Missouri’s economy takes a hit and farmers worry about potential long-term impacts from the tariffs, Josh Hawley has repeatedly doubled down on his support for the President’s trade war.

From the Herald-Whig:

When asked about the $12 billion in aid offered to U.S. farmers last week, Adams County Farm Bureau President Rick Edwards didn’t hesitate.

“Farmers want trade, not aid,” he said.

“Farmers would prefer not to be subsidized. They would rather the market provide them an opportunity to sell and make a little bit of profit.”

…Soybean prices had been trading at $10.40 per bushel in May, but fell to about $8.20 a bushel in mid-July before rebounding slightly to $8.50. Prices paid at regional elevators are slightly lower.

The University of Missouri’s Commercial Agriculture Program did an analysis this month showing that for every 10 cent drop in the price of soybeans, it will cost the state’s farmers about $24.7 million in cash receipts. The $2 decrease in soybeans amounts to nearly a half billion dollars in lost revenue, the study concluded.

…”Our farmers are counting on having access to those markets and the demand they create for U.S. soy. What we’re seeing now is a direct hit to not only farmers, but to our rural communities and all of Missouri,” [Missouri Soybean Association President C. Brooks] Hurst said.

…”This is a self-inflicted wound that borrowing $12 billion won’t solve,” U.S. Sen., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said last week.

…The Farm Bureau’s Edwards said soybeans to meet market demands will come from somewhere. He thinks China will buy more soybeans from Brazil to meet its demands. If that happens, and Europe buys more soybeans from the United States, it might balance out some of the lost exports to China.

…Soybeans are likely to be the largest sector affected by the programs. Soybean prices have plunged 18 percent in the past two months.