Hoosier farmers brace for Chinese soybean tariffs

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. -- Indiana farmers are watching a looming trade war that could deal a blow to their bottom line.

The Trump Administration was scheduled to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports at midnight Thursday. China was already pledging to retaliate with taxes of its own on soybeans and other goods.

Soybeans are big business in the Hoosier state. Indiana is the fourth-largest producer of soybeans in the country.

At Ramsey Farms, in Shelby County, soybeans make up almost half of their annual crops.

Phil Ramsey says he’s hopeful the U.S. and China will get their differences worked out soon. In the meantime, Ramsey says the price of soybeans has dropped almost $2 a bushel in the past month.

That’s a significant drop, Ramsey says, because some of the highest prices of the year typically come in June.

"This uncertain time is painful, as you might say, as we're looking towards harvest and finishing up taking care of our crop, and we need a certain amount of money to pay our bills and keep everything going,” Ramsey said.

According to the American Soybean Association, the U.S. exported $27 billion-worth of soybeans last year. To put that into perspective, one out of every three rows of soybeans planted in Indiana is exported to China.

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