An Iowa farmer in China to tout the 30th anniversary of a trade relationship with China is spending a lot of time reassuring the Chinese who’re raising concerns about the Midwest drought. Ray Bardole of Rippey spoke by phone with reporters this morning.

“As we have met with folks from the government as well as the Chinese media and our customers themselves that is absolutely the very top thing on their mind is, ‘What is the dry weather going to do to our supply? Are we going to be able to buy soybeans to meet the needs for feeding our livestock?'” Bardole told reporters.

The Chinese imported 10.4 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans last year.

“We have had to tell them that, ‘Yes, we are in a very, very serious drought, but we also are a very large country and we do grow soybeans across a very, very wide range,'” Bardole said. “There will be beans that are very, very good beans and there are going to be beans that aren’t very good, but our beans are made with August rains and I’ll assure you that we have everyone praying here for August rains for our crops.”

Bardole is chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council and he’s part of a delegation of U.S. soybean farmers who’re in China. About 45 percent of the soybeans China imports comes from the U.S.

AUDIO of conference call with U.S. soybean farmers.