Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration was moving forward to increase the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers.
As NCGA President Lynn Chrisp noted, “Corn farmers are watching commodity prices decline amid ongoing tariff threats, even while many can’t get to spring planting because of wet weather.” This spring’s heavy rains have impacted farmers across the country, with the most recent WASDE report showing that only 30 percent of the corn crop has been planted, half the five year average of 66 percent.
Trade disputes and tariffs, devastating weather conditions, stagnant farm incomes, crumbling infrastructures and EPA waivers to oil refiners have all combined to create a perfect storm for agriculture.
Times are tough for farmers. More tariffs won’t help, neither will another penny per bushel trade assistance payment. Simply put, farmers need a win and they need marketplace certainty to stay afloat.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.