Trade War Could Push Tennessee Farmers Out of Soybeans

“There's three T’s to the to the soybean talk and that is Trump, Twitter and tariffs,” Morris said. ( Farm Journal )

Farmers who have traditionally grown soybeans might be switching to corn next year unless the trade war is resolved before then. Danny Morris of University of Tennessee Extension told AgriTalk guest host Clinton Griffiths that soybean producers in the state won’t survive another 18 months without trade resolution.

“There's three T’s to the to the soybean talk and that is Trump, Twitter and tariffs,” Morris said. 

The trade situation with China is complex and the 2020 elections around the corner won’t make it any easier for Trump to win, he added. 

“Trump's got his back against a wall with the election coming up, and he's trying to keep the ag vote,” he said. “China doesn't have an election, they do not, they don't look to have any change in leadership. He's on a timetable where they're not.”

While there might be some relief in the next 18 months, Morris said local farmers can’t hold on that long without another two years of significant Market Facilitation Program payments.

“At $8.30 soybeans it's not profitable,” he said. “I've sat down with producers, the beginning of the year, and we looked at seed, chemical, fertilizer costs, throw in rent and machinery cost, and it doesn't work. I mean, you need $9 plus for to really be a good cash flow crop for you. And it just doesn't look like we're going to pick up 60 to 70 cents between now and harvest, it's just not going to happen.”

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