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Local Farmers react to tariff relief plan

A local farmer talked about the Trump Administration's plan to give $12 billion to help farmers hurt by the tariffs imposed by China.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 5:20 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 8:25 PM

WAAY 31 talked to a farmer who harvests a soybean field. He told us that the price of soybeans are down about two dollars right now but he said that's normal for this time of year. He does say he doesn't know the long term effect of the tariff.

"It's hard to say exactly how much is related to the tariff's. That is kind of yet to play out," said farmer Stan Usery.

Usery said the impact from tariff's could play out this fall when he goes to sell around 500 acres of soybean.

"In those pods will form the actual soybeans."

Soybeans have many uses from foods to plastics. Which is why they are exported around the world and China is one of it's biggest customers.

"About every two rows of these soybeans, one of them is going to China."

As President of the Alabama Soybean and Corn Association, Usery talks to other farmers about how the price of soybeans is going down now because of the tariffs . He said they are happy the government is offering help.

"We're at least on their radar as far as folks that have been negatively impacted by these taiffs."

Usery said right now the farmers are taking a wait and see approach on how the tariff will effect them long term.

"Who's to say this isn't long term beneficial? We may correct some trade imbalance and it may improve trade relations with China," said Usery.

Despite the tariff's usery and other farmers are remaining optimistic and focused on their crops.

"Farmers are tough and we'll find a way to get through it."

Usery said if soybean prices continue to drop, soybean farmers would need to find ways to cut costs or may decide to plant other crops instead. 

The plan is only a short term solution that will directly pay farmers and purchase their excess food, and provide programs to create new export markets -- that's what agriculture officials are saying.

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