Tariff On Soybeans Remains a Threat for Mississippi Farmers

MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – In the last week, the Chinese government backed down on several threats to put tariffs on U.S. exports, but one of those exports, soybeans, may still be on the hit list.

We know cotton is no longer king, and soybeans have taken the top rank for row crops in our state.

If China is to put tariffs on our farmers, what’s the response?

We went to the Mississippi Delta for answers.

The Mississippi Delta is known for it’s fertile soil and it productive crops.

The eighteen counties form an organization known as the Delta Council, where a board keeps everyone on the same page.

“There’s a big focus on ag, highways, flood control, healthcare, all kinds of things like that that impact our region,” said Delta Council President, George King.

King farms soybean and corn in the southern Delta.

He says the tariff threats on soybeans made by the Chinese is something to be on the lookout for.

“You know there’s all kinds of policies that go on that can affect the market, and more or less the rumors could affect the markets more than actual face, you know,” King said. “So we just have to watch what’s going on in the federal government or any policy making decisions that will affect our market.”

King has farmed the same land for over 30 years, and for him rising and falling prices of crops is something seen every day, just like a stock market.

“It’s publicly traded, you know, so we have a free market here in our country,” said King.” So it’s treated just like supply and demand.”

A tariff like this could mean more than just cents on the dollar; it could be dollars.

As scary as that can be, King says it comes with the job.

“I mean that’s what farming is all about is managing risk, you know. It’s just another thing we have to manage, you know. We have to put ourselves in the best position we can to withstand something like that or be able to hold on long enough until our crops, the market recovers,” said King.

Full disclosure, yes George King and I are related.

He’s my uncle.

My uncle George knows how important agriculture is for our foreign policy and hopes it continues to stay that way.

“Ag has been a bright spot in our relations with other countries and our trade with other countries, so we hope that both countries realize that a trade war is not very good for anybody,” said King.

There is no word yet on if these tariffs will actually go into effect, but a threat still remains.

And even if something is to happen, it would be months before being implemented, giving our farmers time to prepare.

Categories: Featured, State News

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