'Farmers are suffering’: Mississippi soybean farmer talks impacts of tariffs

'Farmers are suffering’: Mississippi soybean farmer talks impacts of tariffs

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The trade war between the U.S. and China is ramping up. China announcing Monday it will raise tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. Friday, the U.S. announced it would increase tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese made goods. Meanwhile, soybean farmers say they are fed up with the tariffs.

Soybeans have been a good crop for farmers like Danny Murphy, but now the U.S. is nearly a year-in on a trade war with the country that took most of that crop.

“We’ve worked in China for 40 years to develop that market and they developed into the largest market in the world,” explained Danny Murphy.

Without that, he’s concerned.

“Farmers are suffering," described Murphy. "We’ve lost probably 25 percent of our income over this time period with these tariffs.”

Murphy says they’ve tried to figure out how to minimize the hit, but there’s only so much they can do.

“We’ve moved on," he said. "Europe is importing more soybeans than they have from the United States in recent years. Other countries, Indonesia, some of the middle eastern countries are importing more soybeans. So, we’ve taken up some of the slack with China. But they were five or ten times any other market.”

This year, weather is adding to the frustrations. Heavy rain and flooding in some parts of the state are putting a temporary hold on his to-do list.

“We would’ve liked to be planting soybeans three weeks ago but we haven’t been able to get that done,” Murphy said.

Keep in mind, he knows he won’t be able to get as much for what he plants.

“That’s kind of a double whammy," explained Murphy. "The prices are low and you’ve probably lost production over if we had planted on time. So, it’s been tempting to reduce the acreage of planting but at this point we’ll probably plant most of what we intended to.”

The President is now saying he’ll take further action to help the nation’s farmers. But they’re saying they’re growing more impatient.

“I’m just a year or two from retirement but of course, this is going to affect... I don’t want to lose a lot of money in the last year or two and affect how I’m able to retire or if I’m able to retire," added Murphy.

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