Tariff could hit soybean farmers hard

Tariff could hit soybean farmers hard
A proposed 25% tariff on soybeans could have an impact on area farmers, agriculture officials said Thursday. (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The debate over soybean tariffs is a political and economic issue that some area farmers may end up paying for, a local agriculture official said Thursday.

A proposed 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans by China is being considered. Both countries have been discussing tariffs in recent weeks as discussions over a possible trade war have begun.

Both sides have 60 days to discuss or negotiate the issue before any tariff were to happen. However, Branon Thiesse, who serves as staff chair at the Craighead County University of Arkansas Agriculture Extension office, said a tariff could make the growing of soybeans cost prohibitive for most area farmers.

"It's gonna drive the cost of the soybeans around $2.50 a bushel so that means that will probably have to come off what our farmers are being paid. And you can't hardly grow beans for that just because the production costs have gone up so much," Thiesse said.

However, Thiesse said that the demand for soybeans from the United States could drive prices down to help compensate for the tariff.

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