Trade War Still Hitting Close to Home

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LOCAL NEWS – Soybeans have been the top crop in North Dakota the past two years, bringing in 2.3 billion dollars in sales in 2016.

But this year’s planting intentions show wheat will return to the number one spot this growing season. A big reason for the change is the trade dispute with China.

We spoke with local farmers about the issue.

“Sometimes we have to deal with the struggles to sometimes be a little bit better in the long run.” says Jeffrey Olberholtzer of Olberholtzer Farms.

The struggle Jeffrey Olberholtzer talks about is the trade war with China. About 2/3 of all soybeans grown in North Dakota are exported to China, or were until the tariffs.

“Its going to affect us in the cash price on that, but we deal with it and we do marketing differently. So we try to watch our markets and kind of play the futures and the basis and try and capitalize on when you can.” says Jeffrey.

The grain division manager of CHS SunPrairie says not only are the farmers worried, but the entire agriculture industry is.

“I think everyone is a little worried. Without China we don’t have much of a soybean market here in North Dakota, so we need something resolved so we can keep shipping beans to the west coast to export them to China.” says Jeremy Burkhart.

Since the trade war has started, Olberholtzer says its business as usual and he hopes for a resolution to the problem soon.

He adds, “We may increase or decrease a little bit, but we haven’t made any drastic changes.

Soybean prices are being propped up this spring by flooding in parts of the country where the crop is heavily-planted.

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