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Low prices continue for Delaware's soybean farmers amidst China tariffs

Susanne Zilberfarb
Delaware Soybean Board

Delaware’s farmers are still dealing with marketplace uncertainty as trade tensions continue between China and the United States.

China’s 25% tax on U.S. soybeans and a list of other goods has been in place for about 10 months. The price for soybeans has dropped about $2 dollars per bushel since those tariffs were announced, leaving soybeans trading at just over $8 a bushel now.

“We’re probably $2 a bushel below where the market should be at a very minimum,” said Delaware’s Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse. “That also has an impact on other commodity prices like corn and wheat as well, so the sooner this is resolved the better it’s going to be for all the producers.”

But trade tensions seem to be escalating. Earlier this month, the Trump administration increased U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

Some Delaware farmers qualified for temporary support from the market facilitation program the USDA issued last year in response to the tariffs, but no relief plan has been finalized yet by the USDA for projected losses in 2019.

And Scuse says Delaware farmers would rather see the trade dispute resolved.

“Farmers would much rather get the prices that they receive from the marketplace not the government,” Scuse said. “It’s unfortunate that for the second year in a row, farmers are going to have to get some additional subsidy from the federal government just to make ends meet.”

The First State harvested about 168,000 acres of soybeans in 2018 for a value of almost $60,000.

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