Soybean farmers concerned about future

PITTSVILLE, Wis (WSAW) -- The Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is encouraged by recent news that buyers in China have purchased US soybeans. Soybean sales between the US and China were suspended earlier this year due to the ongoing tariff war which caused financial stress on Wisconsin farmers.

“China is our number one customer of soybeans and the tariff has had a huge impact on us,” stated Brad Kremer, owner of Hillcrest Farms in Pittsville, Wisconsin.

Kremer serves as the Treasurer for the American Soybean Association. He says regardless of recent efforts there is still a long road to recovery for the soybean farmers.

“We support President Trump’s message to toughen up on China because they have been breaking a lot of rules, but the Tariffs are hurting the farmers,” Kremer added. “

Soybean sales resumed between the two countries as a result of an agreement enacted by President Trump and Chinese President Xi to suspend new tariffs for 90 days and negotiate trade issues.

"The announcement of renewed soybean sales to China is positive news for Wisconsin soybean farmers," said Tony Mellenthin, President of the Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA).

Though renewed sales with China brings some hope for market improvement, it is merely the first step to re-establishing the once substantial soybean trade between the two countries.

"To date, China has only purchased a fraction of the typical 32 million tons they purchase annually from the United States. Expedited sales must continue if we hope to regain the market share we have lost and for the burden of the trade war to be lifted from the Wisconsin soybeans farmer's shoulders" said Mellethin.

In an early Tuesday meeting, Kremer learned that President Trump also signed legislation that fully funds the Market Facilitation Program which will finically help farmers nationwide.

Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is a membership organization serving more than 18,000 soybean growers in Wisconsin. WSA provides advocacy in Madison and Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of Wisconsin soybean farmers and programs that enhance soybean production and demand. Voice for Soy, the online action center supported by WSA, allows growers to easily connect with legislators and regulators to advocate for Wisconsin agriculture. For more information about WSA, visit the website www.wisoybean.org.