Taylor Ridge farmer brings home concerns over international tariffs

“We’ve got two super powers in the world butting heads,” said Phil Fuhr, a farmer in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. “Agriculture in America is...
Tariff Troubles

TAYLOR RIDGE, Illinois -

Soybean prices are dropping to its lowest level in years.  That's prompting a warning that this trade war will hurt the agriculture economy.

Green rows of soybeans line Phil Fuhr's farm in Taylor Ridge, Illinois.  But this sixth generation operation must worry about the color of money.

China tariffs are driving down his crop prices.

"Nobody knows what to do," he said, on Tuesday, June 19.  "They've never seen a scenario like this before.  We're in a full-fledged trade war."

Soybean growers like Fuhr warn that a 25% tariff will cost them millions.

"It's going to be painful," he continued.

They're calling on the White House to rescind the tariffs and encourage strong international trade relationships.

"We've got two major super powers in the world butting heads, and agriculture in America is going to be the pawn," he continued.

Fuhr's 2018 soybean crop is off to a good start.  But as prices drop to the lowest levels in years, he warns that tariffs will drive China to competing countries.

"It's going to trickle down," he said.  "Every ag business is going to feel the fallout from that."

Farmers are calling for certainty, stability and legislation to manage risk and navigate market swings.

It's especially important because Illinois and Iowa are the top two soybean-producing states in the United States.

"Any type of dispute that will interrupt that trade is going to affect our bottom line," he concluded.