Iowa Soybean Association President Bill Shipley, who farms near Nodaway in southwest Iowa’s Adams County, says the best they can hope for is some mitigating help to assist farmers in staving off red ink in their operations.
“We can at least pay our expenses. That’s about all it will do is get us up to our break-even price,” Shipley says. “Everybody’s got a different break-even price, depending on yield and price. It’ll get us up to break-even, maybe. It’ll make our bankers feel a lot better.” Soybean producers are set to receive $3.6 billion in direct aid. Many farm groups have responded with calls for “trade not aid.”
Shipley says the farm economy and the impacts of the retaliatory tariffs is worrying Iowa lenders. “I’ve talked to several, I haven’t talked to my own, but I’ve talked to several others and they are concerned, deeply concerned, about the farm economy,” Shipley says. “If you can at least cover your expenses, it’ll make them feel better. It’ll make me feel better, too. I don’t want to be going backwards.” Shipley hopes U.S. and Chinese negotiators are making progress with their discussions about the current trade war and find some possible ways to resolve it.
“They’re supposed to meet for six or seven days and at least they’re talking, that’s always positive,” Shipley says, “and that’s the best we can hope for.” Shipley says trade issues are complicated and involve more than just agriculture so it could take some time to hammer out a positive agreement. On Monday, U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said producers can begin to apply for the aid on September 4.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)