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Local farmers feeling the pinch of soybean tariffs

Delaware Public Media

Delaware farmers say Chinese tariffs on soybeans are taking a toll.

After the Trump administration placed a tax on steel and other imports, the Chinese government levied tariffs on a list of American-made goods, including a 25% tax on corn and soybeans.

The price of soybeans soon dropped to a 10-year low, and is currently at $8.50 a bushel.

Camden farmer Richard Wilkins was previously President of the American Soybean Association and is currently President of the Kent County Farm Bureau.

He says, like most farmers, he is a patriot, but he does not think a trade war bodes well for American agriculture.

“I see this as possibly creating long-term damage, not just to soybeans, but to all agricultural products,” said Wilkins.

Though the state is coming off a record year for soybeans, Wilkins predicts this year will not have a good yield in Delaware due to dry summer weather.

Wilkins says he worries for the next generation of farmers.

“We had young people coming back in. A lot of those young people have incurred debt based on what they thought was going to be a long-term commodity of profitability. They’re the ones that are most at risk.”

There are 155 thousand acres of soybeans planted in Delaware.