Soybean prices near 10-year low due to tariffs on Chinese exports

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Most farmers thought the weather was going to be their biggest concern going into the 2019 planting season. Instead, they have to worry about heavy tariffs on soybeans – something that is impacting every farmer in Michiana.

“It’s not only affecting our price, but it’s affecting what we buy personally too,” Joe Cuson said.

Cuson has been farming for 45 years at Cuson Farms in Middle Creek, Indiana.

“Farmers in this country have an incredible ability to produce, and that’s a lot of the problem, is that we have to have a market for it,” Cuson said.

Right now, the market is not so great for soybeans, according to AgDay’s Clinton Griffith.

“We’re in a trade dispute with China. One of the main things to put pressure on the U.S. they can do is to put a tariff on some of our ag commodities, and soybeans is a big one,” Griffith said.

Last year, the cost of each soybean bushel ranged anywhere between $10 to $12. This year, that number has dipped to just $8 per bushel, leaving farmers like Cuson with a huge gap to fill.

“They’re out here spending their time and their money and their equity and sweat, but they don’t know what their returns will be by the time to get to harvest,” Griffith said.

On the other hand, what most farmers should be focused on is working in the fields. Because of the heavy tariffs, it is not.

“The market should be more focused on the fact that the tractor out there is sitting out there not in the field, this one behind me is not sitting in the field," Cuson said. "In a normal year, that would be more of the focus of the market right now, planting delays. But the last couple of days, it hasn’t been.”