Iowa is among the top five states for the number of farmers who have applied for trade mitigation aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman says he expects even more farmers across the country to be seeking government help as the trade war with China persists.
“It’s very true that farmers would rather be earning those dollars through the marketplace, but we do think it’s important that farmers make decisions that are right for their farm,” Lehman says. “I think we’re going to see a lot of farmers take advantage of the opportunity to try and recoup some of what they’re losing through the tariff war that we’re in.” Lehman says there needs to be a solid and clear plan to resolve the differences that are hurting America’s farmers and ranchers.
“We know there are some very serious issues with China that we’ve been asking to be addressed for many years,” Lehman says. “We’re glad the administration wants to address some of those issues. We just don’t see a coherent approach yet to get to where we need to be and unfortunately, we’re really feeling the pain because of that.”
While hoping recent trade agreements like the one between the United States, Mexico and Canada will spark China to come to the table to help end the trade war, Lehman says the continued situation is damaging U.S. agriculture.
“It’s just a terrible amount of uncertainty,” he says. “The short-term aid, I would encourage people to get whatever help they can to get through it but it does not address the longer-term issue that’s causing our problems.” The top five states for farmers seeking trade mitigation aid are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)