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Local Farmers Hurting From China Tariffs

LENNOX, S.D. - More tariffs could be coming for exports to China. Why does that matter to you? 

Local farmers are taking a big hit with tariffs on soybeans, and when they suffer the whole economy feels the pain.

Agriculture is South Dakota's number one industry. Right now, local farmers are losing money.

"$75, $80 per acre that we've lost on revenue so far. So if you look at a 1,000 acre farm, you're looking at $75 to $80,000 of lost revenue," said Lennox farmer, Dave Poppens. 

Lennox farmer, Dave Poppens, says tariffs on China are a big problem. 

China is South Dakota's number one customer for soybeans. If it costs too much money to buy the beans from here, then China has other options, like Brazil. Meaning local farmers lose the sale.

"This could drag out for quite awhile the way it looks. It looks like short term, there's not an end in sight right away," said Poppens. 

This is tough news to swallow for area producers. Farmers were already losing crops to floods this season.

"Probably looking at reduced yields. Below average yields. Now with the prices lower too, it's going to hurt us quite a bit this Fall," said Poppens. 

Poppens says farmers are used to hard times, and that's what crop insurance is for, but it's not the way they want to live long-term.

"We don't lose everything but we won't make much money either," said Poppens. 

The South Dakota delegation sent out a letter to President Trump this week, asking him to take the farmers being hurt by these tariffs into consideration moving forward. We talked with Senator John Thune who is breaking from President Donald Trump on trade. 

"And so I think a lot of our farmers and ranchers and many of us have tried to be patient, but you know, we're running out of rope. We're getting to the end of the line here. These economic impacts are becoming very real," said Thune.

 


 


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