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Iowa soybean farmers affected by new tariffs

One farmer fears losing the industry altogether

SIOUX CITY, IA - China has been a good customer of U-S grown soybeans. In the last few years, they have purchased about 60 percent of the total U-S soybean production.  However, the Iowa Soybean Association president, Bill Shipley of Nodaway, Iowa believes due to the trade tariffs that market may suffer, but he doubts the Chinese market will disappear entirely.

"The longer this tariffs go on, the possibility is greater, but I don't think we will completely lose that market.  The other suppliers in the world can only grow so many...(soybeans).  They will just have to pay more for our product, if the tariffs go into effect.  We don't want to see that. We want a level open market is what we are after.  No tariffs at all.  They already imposed some on us before this ever took place," says Shipley.

Even though the tariffs have now been implemented, Shipley is still hopeful
an agreement can still be reached that will be beneficial for U-S farmers.

"I hope they can negotiate an agreement.  Hopefully, they can negotiate an agreement that is very positive for agriculture.  That they can go back to us being their main supplier of soybeans which we're their secondary (supplier) now, to get it back up to where it should be.  And to also approve some of our technology products.  They're the only country to not allow 2-4D soybeans," says Shipley.

The southwest Iowa soybean grower understands why President Trump is wanting
to create more fair trade practices with the Chinese, but never-the-less
Shipley is concerned.

"I agree that we need to take on the unequality of trade we have with China.  And I think most farmers do.  But they need to come to the table.  We just want a free and open level market.  And they (China) don't want to do that.  They want everything in their favor.  Now, I realize that it is hurting me greatly right at the moment.  We can move ahead and hopefully they get this resolved, and get back to being a good customer of ours," says Shipley.

The soybean president says soybean growers are looking at other potential export markets, such as the Philippines which is the second largest buyer of U-S soybean meal.  Shipley says the soybean association is looking at Syr Lanka, and Latin American nations like El Salvador and Honduras. Shipley
admits those nations won't take the place of the Chinese market, but as he says every bit helps, and soybean growers need to pursue every possible

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