Some Missouri farmers say they are losing money and are concerned they could lose their farms due to the Trade War with China.
“I’ve been a farmer since 1951 and it looks like that maybe this might be that first year that we’re going in the red,” said Dale Edmondson, an 87-year-old farmer in southwest Missouri’s Polk County.
He says he has 7,000 bushels of soybeans from last year that haven’t yet been sold.
“We’re at the mercy of the market,” he said.
“I have survived droughts. I have survived high interests. And I’ve survived a lot of things, but I don’t know whether we can survive this trade war or not.”
Soybean prices have dropped by more than 20 percent. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce estimates the state could lose $880 million because of this trade war.
“Right about the time when we were putting seed in the ground, that’s when the tariffs were announced and eventually just went into effect and everything fell apart from there,” said James Tucker, a farmer in southern Polk and northern Greene counties.
Tucker and Edmondson spoke at a town hall held by Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Springfield Wednesday. Sen. McCaskill is against the trade war and says what’s in place now is now is not working.
“The price coming down in beans has a whole lot to do with these tariffs that have been placed on our beans by China,” said Senator Claire McCaskill.
“I feel like we are caught in the middle,” Tucker said.
Tucker is 27 years old and is worried a family legacy could end with him.
“I’ve grown up on the farm my whole life. I’m the 6th generation, and I can’t really imagine doing anything else,” said Tucker.
Speaking to a crowd in Springfield Tuesday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Attorney General Josh Hawley, said he supports President Trump’s decision on tariffs but that farmers deserve better than they’re getting right now.
“I come from a farming family myself,” Hawley said. “I would encourage the President to continue to press forward and get a better deal.”
Edmondson has his own ideas of a better deal and his own message for the President.
“Stop. Just stop it. He started it; he can stop it,” Edmond said.
Both Sen. McCaskill and Attorney General Hawley will be attending an event at the Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jeff City this Friday, where the group will consider which candidate it will be endorsing.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed this story