Trade war hurting county farmers

Grain is poured into the Gateway FS grain elevator in Waterloo. 

Since last summer, the United States and China have been engaged in a trade war, the effects of which can be seen in Monroe County. 

Perhaps the clearest impact is with soybean, corn and pork markets, which have all taken a hit from the trade war.  

“It’s huge,” Waterloo farmer Nathan Brinkmann said of the impact of the trade war. “When you’re selling beans for $10, usually, and you lose a dollar, that’s 10 percent right off the top. You throw in a weather event or some other kind of problem and that number can increase drastically. It’s a huge variable in a world of endless variables.”

Another Waterloo farmer, Ken Hartman Jr., put it even more succinctly. 

“The problem is you can basically say that where the prices are today, they’re under the cost of production,” he said. 

President Donald Trump started the trade battle with the goals of improving conditions for American companies in China, reducing the trade deficit with China and levelling the playing field for American businesses competing with Chinese ones…

Read more in the Sept. 11 edition of the Republic-Times, or click here to subscribe

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