Tariff talk spoils what could be great harvest for Ohio farmers

Ohio Statehouse Newsroom

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Agriculture impacts Ohio’s economy in major ways and the value of the commodities can be swayed with a single word from the right people.

One word that has farmers very concerned is ‘tariffs.’

There are a lot of things that farmers cannot directly control that affect their bottom line, the weather here and other parts of the world for instance.

Another is the policies put in place in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, the Trump administration announced a plan to provide $12 billion in aid to farmers affected by the ongoing trade war.

Wednesday morning, Ohio Governor John Kasich said, “You know farmers don’t want aid they want trade; that’s what they want.”

If you ask a farmer, like Patty Mann from northwest Ohio, they’ll tell you he’s right.

“The markets just need to be fair and open so our product can be moved across the world, that’s what we would like to see,” said Mann.

Which is why she doesn’t agree when the president tweets: “Tariffs are the greatest!”

“Tariff is kind of a scary word,” said Mann.

Just rumors of tariffs sent prices into a freefall for weeks, according to Mann.

“We’ve lost about $2 on our soybean price and probably $0.50-60 cents on corn prices,” said Mann.

Mann’s farm depends on those crops to pay her employees and put food on their table.

“About 1 in 3 bushels of corn and soybeans that I grow goes to an outside market,” said Mann.

She says, as a result of the tariffs, if her farm had to sell its crop today it would be at a loss.

“On my farm, I need a little over $9 to break even,” said Mann. “The futures is about $8 right now.”

By Wednesday evening President Trump and the European Union had come to an agreement to avoid a trade war and work toward reducing tariffs, but China is still an issue according to Mann who says more needs to be done.

Mann would also like to see NAFTA worked out relatively soon.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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