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Delaware farmers increasingly voice frustration over trade war

Delaware Public Media

Some Delaware farmers are expressing dismay with how some of President Donald Trump’s policies affect them.

Many farmers support Trump taking on China’s unfair trade practices, but a deal with China still seems far away.

New U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports took effect this week on consumer goods. More take effect in December.

Felton farmer Alan Garey grows corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, rye and sorghum. China has bought fewer agricultural products over the past two years before suspending all purchases last month.

Garey said he’s lost about 25 percent of his income because of the trade war. The Trump administration is giving farmers trade mitigation payments, but Garey said it doesn’t close the gap.

“The amount of money that we’re losing compared to what they’re giving us, there’s no comparison at all," he said. "It’s a bandaid on a major cut.”

Garey is also concerned about the increase in waivers to oil refineries required to blend ethanol into their gasoline. He said they may drive down corn prices.

He said he’s not happy about the 85 ethanol waivers issued by the Trump administration. He said it may mean prices will fall as supply builds.

“I didn’t have a good feeling about it, that’s for sure," Garey said. "I mean, anytime that you stop the usage of something, the demand of corn is going to be less. So, it doesn’t make you feel very good, that’s for sure.”

He remains hopeful some good will come from the trade war in the long run. Garey is still evaluating the president’s performance in office before next year’s election.

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